Accident and crash are two loaded words. A discussion frequently occurs about whether an accident is really an accident – aren’t they just all ‘crashes’, and all preventable? It is a discussion that can be confusing if you let the semantics of the words take over, and there are grey areas.
The answer is that an accident can result in a crash if the vehicle hits something, which won’t always be the case. For example, you could slide off the road and cause no damage to yourself or your vehicle, so it’s definitely not a crash in that case. Almost all are preventable (this is the important fact), but the word accident describes the intention of the driver at the time. An accident could result in injury, death and damage, but it’s whether the person intended that injury, death or damage to happen that influences how we should perceive this.
Let’s ditch the semantics and look at it realistically:
The grey area is when you knowingly do something that elevates your risk, even though you might not have the intention of having a ‘crash’. Using your cellphone while in control of the vehicle increases your risk dramatically, and you might have a crash, the crash wasn’t the intentional part; your elevation and acceptance of the risk was the intentional part. So, can you really call it an ‘accident.’ It’s difficult to say.