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February 23, 2010


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I would prefer to see and hear 'collision' as well - it covers everything, whereas 'crash' should be reserved for more serious collisions.

But regardless of BAC or driver training, it's not always fair to say a driver 'abandoned' control: even a sober driver with advanced training is not going to be able to maintain or regain control in some situations.

Another thing I'd like to see discontinued is the practice of referring to the collision as having a volition of its own, as in 'A head-on crash has claimed the lives of two drivers'. A collision is not something out there waiting to select drivers - it is the outcome of a series of factors.


As you may or may not have noticed, several radio traffic reporters (announcers?) now refrain from using the "A" word and call it a collision or a crash.
Guess more than a few people share your opinion.
One more thing. As in your example, and often read in the news, how does "His car lost control..." make sense? Doesn't the DRIVER loose control of the car?


The ultimate goal of language is communication. Grammar police need not correct us if we all know what was meant. Language also evolves and grows and that's why dictionaries are updated. I ain't never going to see a new episode of "motoring" means I'm never going to even though it's not formally acceptable english! Can we talk about cars now?

John B

Perhaps we like to use the 'A'-word because it relinquishes us of blame when we're involved. We just don't like to admit fault, or perhaps don't even recognize it.

Anyway, one of my pet peeves is in your first scenario, "His car lost control and ran head-on into a minivan carrying a family of six". His car did NOT lose control; HE did. In fact, it was his car that took over control when he relinquished it. Cars don't lose control, people do. Just like guns don't kill people; people kill people.

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