Why Nevada Is Changing Car "Accident" To "Crash"

Feb 3, 2016

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A new Nevada law has revised how the state refers to car accidents, changing the word "accident" to "crash." Reno Public Radio's Michelle Billman explores why.

State officials are changing the verbage used in every Nevada law related to car crashes. 

"Really, the reason is to send a message that many car crashes are preventable," says Meg Ragonese, a spokeswoman for the Nevada Department of Transportation. 

She says 321 people died on Nevada roads last year.

"When someone makes a decision to drive drunk, distracted, impaired, or just drive negligently or aggressively, perhaps, that is a decision," Ragonese says. "It's not an accident."

Lawmakers approved the measure in the spring and it went into effect last month.