Jill F. Cooper & Kara E. MacLeod & David R. Ragland
An automobile accident is defined as a crash that occurs between an automobile and another automobile, human, animal, or fixed object. Automobile accidents are also commonly called traffic collisions, traffic crashes, motor vehicle collisions, and motor vehicle crashes. Among the professionals who aim to reduce the number of traffic crashes and related injuries, use of the word accident is often debated as the term suggests that such events are unexpected and unpreventable. Traffic crashes are a major public safety problem; overall, they are the leading cause of death by injury in the United States. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that in 2005, there were almost 6.16 million police-reported crashes, 2.7 million injuries, and 43,443 deaths. Injuries that result from traffic crashes are the leading cause of death to individuals ages 1 through 34 and are the leading contributor to years of life lost due to premature death, ...