My video deposition of the investigating CHP officer for a recent case I had litigated. Traffic collisions are not “accidents” as there is always a choice with a driver to obey or disobey the safe driving rules of the road. This powerful concept is embedded in the training and knowledge of our very own California Highway Patrol (CHP) who see the safe driving rule violations everyday. The CHP do not call their Traffic Collision Report a Traffic “Accident” Report, in the same vein that one does not call a plane crash, a “plane accident,” or a crane collapse, a “crane accident.” The word “accident” infers the collision or incident was completely unavoidable, and the defense lawyers love using the word in negotiations, and trial.
When it comes to distracted driving, in all of its forms, texting while driving, using the cell phone while driving, eating in the car, putting on makeup in the car, fatigue, adjusting the radio, or driving under the influence, etc., there is always a choice being made to do it. The simple truth is, the word collision shows the violation was a preventable consequence. In fact, lawyers who represent injured people should get rid of the word “accident” in their vocabulary, and replace it with “preventable collision,” because that is exactly what it is. If it is predictable, then it is preventable, i.e., avoidable, plain and simple. Prevention of a collision always begins and ends with the safe driving choices one makes on our roadways, and it is always a choice, not an “accident.” The distinction is important because it is what protects all of us on the road.