REMEMBER: It is not an accident if it can be prevented.

July 20th, 2018
Parachute Canada launches “This was not an accident” Vision Zero awareness campaign: 

he Canadian Oxford Dictionary defines “accident” as “an event that is without apparent cause, or is unexpected” and also as “the occurrence of things by chance; the working of fortune.”

When two drivers collide their vehicles on the road, or a driver of a vehicle hits a pedestrian or cyclist, it is rarely an “accident.”

There are causes, from a driver distracted by being on a call (hands free or not), to roadways improperly designed and not properly separating cyclists and vehicles, to people disobeying traffic regulations around speed and proceeding at intersections.

When we call road collisions “accidents”, we step away from anyone having any responsibility, and any urgency to make the changes in behaviour, laws, and environment that will lead to fewer deaths and injuries on our roads.

That urgency is the lifeblood of Vision Zero, the international movement dedicated to eliminating serious injuries and deaths on our roads.

Parachute, in partnership with Desjardins Insurance, has mounted a national awareness campaign to help Canadians take the first step on the Vision Zero journey: to understand, and agree, that when it comes to road collisions, “This was not an ‘accident’.”

Valerie Smith, Parachute’s Director of Solutions, is a board director for the Canadian Association of Road Safety Professionals (CARSP). She notes that public opinion still needs to rally around the concept that road collisions and the tragedies they cause are not shoulder-shrugging “accidents” about which nothing can be done. Says Smith: “We need to get this message out more widely.”

Parachute is currently undertaking an analysis of language used around road collisions in the media and preliminary findings indicate that, while journalistic outlets have largely stopped using “accident” in their coverage, individuals interviewed for these stories still call them “accidents.”

Parachute’s Director of Communications and Marketing, Kelley Teahen, worked with our partner Media City to develop the campaign, which features an image of the now-too-familiar roadside memorial of a bouquet tied to a roadside lamp post to mark the spot where someone was killed. “This was not an accident,” the text says. “Find out why.” The URL leads to the Parachute Vision Zero website.


Posted on July 20th, 2018