Crashes not caused by chance

Letter to the editor

Posted: Thursday, October 13, 2005

The police report records the facts about various vehicle collisions. The time, date, location and the identification of the vehicles is reported. A parked van was struck by vehicle, driven by a party of a certain age. Two vehicles collided at an intersection, the driver of one cited for failure to give the right-of-way. A car slams into the back of a truck on the expressway, and the driver of the car is cited for following too closely. These are listed in the Juneau Empire as "accidents." But are they really accidents? All were avoidable collisions.

Almost all so-called accidents are avoidable. They would not have happened if the drivers were exercising safe driving practices. The current Alaska Driver Manual has changed its language from "accident" to crash. You no longer file an accident report, but report a crash. It's time the Juneau Empire and its reporters (Tony Carroll included) catch up with the times and stop suggesting that most of the damage to people and property on our streets and highways is caused by chance or unknown causes. Careless driving habits are the cause.

Robert J. Palmer


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