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It’s time to reconsider the word “accident” when it comes to vehicle incidents…

Maybe you have been in a car accident? Maybe police have attended and maybe you heard them refer to it as a collision? Or maybe you have heard police speak about motor vehicle incidents or collisions and not refer to them as accidents. Why is that?

Many British Columbians believe that serious injuries, like those from
motor vehicle crashes, are just “accidents” waiting to happen. In reality, most injuries are both predictable and preventable, and yet, an average of 283 British Columbians die each year and 3,762 are hospitalized from road-related injuries.

The Community Against Preventable Injuries (Preventable) suggests that one simple change could change the reality of preventable injuries in BC by reconsidering the term “accident.”

Referring to a motor vehicle collision as an accident means something unfortunate has happened unexpectedly or unintentionally. The accident was waiting to happen and nothing could be done about it.

But that is really not the case. 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.

“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,” stated Corporal Steven FRANCOER of the Fort St. John RCMP. Someone did something wrong, the collision could have been prevented, people didn’t have to die or be injured.

90% of all injuries are not random, unconnected, unpredictable events – they are predictable, and therefore preventable which means we can all do something about them.

  • 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.

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

Written and released by Fort St. John RCMP and

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PJXM News is a small citizen media out of Prince George, BC. PJXM dishes out Police news from BC's Central Interior and up to the Peace Region.
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