Totally agree with John.  WisDOT Bureau of Transportation Safety (BOTS) changed 
the title of their annual report from Accident Facts to Crash Facts in the 
early 1980’s for the reasons John states.  Some 30+ years later, the 
legislature has not caught up to WisDOT BOTS.  State Statutes still refer to 
these incidents as accidents and thus the form that has to be filed with WisDOT 
DMV when a crash occurs is an Accident Report.  Perhaps the place to start is 
to change the state statute language from Accident to Crash.  The media reports 
what they are fed by others like WisDOT, Police, Medical Examiners, etc.  If we 
can change the language used by the sources, then the media will change.  If 
the media changes, then the public is likely to follow suit after a period of 
exposure to the new terminology.

Here are a few of the references in the state statutes that will need to be 
purged of the term “accident”

346.66 Applicability of sections relating to accidents and accident reporting
346.67 Duty upon striking person or attended or occupied vehicle.
(1) The operator of a vehicle involved in an accident shall reasonably 
investigate what was struck and if the operator knows or has reason to know 
that the accident resulted in injury or death of a person or in damage to a 
vehicle .  .  .
346.675 Vehicle owner’s liability for failing to stop at the scene of an 
346.69 Duty upon striking property on or adjacent to highway.
The operator of any vehicle involved in an accident .  .  .  shall make report 
of such accident when and as required in s. 346.70.
346.70 Duty to report accident; assistance following accident.
346.71 Coroners or medical examiners to report; require blood specimen.
(1) Every coroner or medical examiner shall, on or before the 10th day of each 
month, report in writing any accident involving a motor vehicle  .  .  .
346.72 Garages to keep record of repairs of accident damage
346.73 Accident reports not to be used in trial

Here is a link to the MV4002 form, Driver Report of an Accident

This WisDOT page does refer to Crashes

Annual Wisconsin Crash Facts archives
The following has appeared at the bottom of the first page of this report every 
year since they made this change in the early 1980’s

Crashes, Not Accidents Traffic crashes are not accidents, but avoidable events 
caused by a single variable or chain of variables. Dedicated to reducing 
traffic injuries and fatalities by addressing the factors that cause them, the 
Bureau of Transportation Safety coordinates a statewide behavioral highway 
safety program.

Arthur Ross, Pedestrian-Bicycle Coordinator
City of Madison Traffic Engineering Division
215 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd., Suite 100
PO Box 2986
Madison, WI  53701-2986
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