Why collisions or incidents are not referred to as accidents

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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Fort St. John RCMP are clearing up the confusion as to why motor vehicle collisions are called “collisions” or “incidents” and not “accidents”.

According to the RCMP, an “accident” means something unfortunate has happened unexpectedly or unintentionally. The “accident” was waiting to happen and nothing could be done about it. RCMP say this is not the case when motor vehicles are involved.

“When it comes to almost all motor vehicle collisions, vehicle vs. vehicle, or incidents, also vehicle vs. person, the injuries that occur are predictable and preventable. When a police officer begins a collision investigation, they often determine that a collision and subsequent injuries were caused due to speed, distracted driving, failure to wear seatbelts and alcohol or drug impairment. Police have been using this terminology for years and are partnering in the campaign to bring further awareness and understanding to the general public.”

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Corporal Steven Francoer, of the Fort St. John RCMP, says out of all the collisions he has attended, the cause could be determined as something that could have been prevented.

“In my 5 years as a Forensic Collision Reconstructionist, almost all of the collisions I attended where there were fatalities or significant injury, cause could be determined. Someone did something wrong, the collision could have been prevented, people didn’t have to die or be injured.”

RCMP say 90 percent of the collisions that take place on the roads are ones that are preventable.

Here are some tips to prevent a collision:

  • Slowing down gives you more time, distance and control to make decisions and respond to what is in front of them.
  • Leaving your phone alone and not being a distracted driver frees your eyes and hands to maintain awareness and control.
  • Wearing your seatbelt secures you and keeps you in the living space of your vehicle if you are in a collision.
  • Remaining sober prior to or while driving keeps your concentration and reaction time at peak levels allowing you to better respond to other traffic and pedestrians.

RCMP say collisions, and the injuries that result from them can be dramatically reduced by slowing down and being more proactive in the way you make decisions and navigate roadways.

To learn more about helping prevent life-altering collisions or injuries go to Preventable.ca.

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