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J Trauma Stress. 2002 Aug;15(4):333-5.

Motor vehicle crash versus accident: a change in terminology is necessary.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, University of Florida, Gainesville 32611-2250, USA. aestewrt@ufl.edu

Abstract

We assert that motor vehicle crash should replace motor vehicle accident in the clinical and research lexicon of traumatologists. Crash encompasses a wider range of potential causes for vehicular crashes than does the term accident. A majority of fatal crashes are caused by intoxicated, speeding, distracted, or careless drivers and, therefore, are not accidents. Most importantly, characterizing crashes as accidents, when a driver was intoxicated or negligent, may impede the recovery of crash victims by preventing them from assigning blame and working through the emotions related to their trauma.

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PMID:
12224806
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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