With the end of February bringing a close to the distracted driver safety awareness campaign, #CrotchesKill, I thought it would be prudent to do just one more post on road safety. Yes, I know we’ve talked at great length about new drivers and distracted drivers but today I’d like to address just what it is that constitutes an “accident”.
As you can imagine road safety is an on-going discussion in the insurance world, and with the campaign underway this month it spurred new conversation on the topic around the office. To my surprise, one word that came up over and over again was empowerment and how we need to empower drivers. I wasn’t sure I understood this. I wondered, aren’t drivers already empowered just by being in the drivers seat? Do I as a driver not have the ability to come and go as I please? Drive where, when and how I see fit? And that’s just it; safety is really in my hands. This conversation reminded me of my own ‘accidental’ history…
You’ve Had a Collision.
A few years back when I had a run in with another vehicle, I attended my local police station to file a report. I approached the counter and told the officer assisting me that I had been in an accident and was here to tell them all about it. As he started collecting the details and I told my story, he stopped me and said, “Ma’am, you haven’t had an accident, you’ve had a collision. What you’re describing could have been prevented.” Besides being upset about the fact that he addressed me as ‘Ma’am’, (really, anything but Ma’am!), I was truly flabbergasted. After all, I was the victim here. Well, maybe not a victim of any sort of a crime, but in my mind certainly a victim of circumstance. Didn’t he hear the part about the screaming children? Didn’t he realize that if I didn’t manage to pass back some sort of sustenance the screaming wouldn’t stop and the bigger loss here would have been my sanity? How was he not sympathizing with me?
I don’t remember what I did after that, but I’m sure it included telling anyone who would listen about my experience that day and how this officer had treated me like a criminal.
Looking back now, certainly older and hopefully wiser, I get it. I had a choice. I could have pulled over to do what I needed to do. I could have been better prepared before I got on the road to begin with; it’s not like I didn’t know what my traveling circus was like. I had choices, and I chose to try and manage it all while driving. When the only thing I should have been managing is getting to my destination safely.
This Was No Accident. Even Merriam-Webster Knows It.
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines an accident as an unforeseen and unplanned event or circumstance that causes damage or injury.
Unforeseen. My collision wasn’t unforeseen. If I had stopped to think about it all, I could have foreseen the events very clearly. It was really no less careless than talking on the phone, texting, or having a drink before I set off. I wouldn’t consider doing anyone of these things they are dangerous. Why did I think my juggling act was any less dangerous?
Let’s Choose Our Words Carefully – And Our Actions.
Empowerment makes sense to me now. Education and awareness empower us to make smart decisions. We are empowered as drivers, each and every one of us. We are empowered to choose a safe ride every time we get in the car. We choose to wear our seatbelts, we choose to plan ahead, we choose to leave on time, we choose to put the phone down and keep our heads up, we choose to keep our hands on the wheel and our minds on the task at hand. We can choose to reduce the risk of collisions, because choice is no accident.
Sources and Resources – A Little Extra Info
Have More Questions?
Let me know and I’ll do my best to address it here for you and all of our readers. Better yet, contact an InsureMy advisor; these guys know their stuff. Email Info@InsureMy.ca or give them a call locally at (403) 410-1896 or toll free at 1-844-410-1896.
Everyday Insurance With All
Working mom, lover of the great outdoors and self-professed know-it-all. Our resident blogger, Allie isn’t the insurance guru she claims to be – but she’s learning and we are happy to help guide her. All the while keeping you in the loop on the “insurancey” stuff you need to know. #AskAllie