The Michigan Department of Transportation is changing its terminology when it comes to traffic accidents, uh, er, crashes. 

MDOT says there are no accidents when it comes to traffic anymore. In a press release on its website, the governmental agency says it's changing its vocabulary, and from now on the word 'crash' defines the unfortunate incident when car meets car, or Jersey wall.

When we call something an "accident" it implies that no one is at fault and that no one, including the driver, bears responsibility for the outcome. The term "crash," on the other hand, is more specific in terms of the action's outcome without the unpreventable implication.


It is vitally important that we use the right words to describe the situation, especially when inattention, distracted driving and other avoidable actions are at the center of an incident.

To back up their argument, MDOT refers to this Twitter post by the Associated Press style book:

When negligence is claimed or proven, avoid accident, which can be read as exonerating the person responsible. #ACES2016

However, our internal server hasn't picked up on this change. When I searched the word 'crash' no photos of cars crashed came up, but 'accident' had plenty of photos of cars crashed to choose from.

— AP Stylebook (@APStylebook) April 2, 2016

So you're holding people responsible for their actions!? Holy cow, maybe the insurance rates will drop. Let's not get too carried away...

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