• The recent tragic crash involving a driver who killed a rider while racing then drove yet again was reported so sloppily.

    A cyclist has died from his injuries after he was hit by a car that may have been racing another vehicle and failed to stop...A car that was suspected of being involved has been found, police said.


    “On Saturday I was clearly visible to the vehicle and stepped out, but the car didn’t see me. It swerved around me at the last second and I had to jump backwards.


    So many instances of this

  • Related: the passive voice really fucks me off. I notice it most in stories about rape cases.

  • +1000s

  • What can ab done? Are the journalists ever contacted and questioned?

  • Frequently on Twitter. Which does work, sometimes - I've seen news articles updated on occasion.

  • The way we refer to people interacting on roads has to be impersonal or it would be too sad to bear. The language, a defense mechanism to avoid massive cultural guilt at the damage and carnage we allow for the convenience and speed of some. If we spoke directly about the numbers killed and maimed across the world pointing out the people responsible,we'd be pointing to our friends, our sons and daughters, ourselves. So we point to the cars instead and make these inanimate objects responsible.

  • I regularly write to the editor of my local rags about this, to little avail. This appeared a while back
    (Reading Evening Post):-

    "Emergency services went to Queen's Road following a collision between a Mini Cooper and a pedestrian.

    Police, paramedics and firefighters were called at 3.22pm to the scene of the collision by the junction with Sidmouth Street where a car had mounted the pavement.

    A male pedestrian in his 30s with leg injuries and another injured person were taken to Royal Berkshire Hospital.

    Watch manager James Dowd of Caversham Road Fire station said fire crews has to use lifting gear to raise the Mini Copper off the leg of the pedestrian involved in the collision.

    He said: "The car left the road and mounted the pavement taking a pedestrian with it and ending up in the bushes. We had to cut away the bushes, lift up the car to the point where we could get him out." "

  • Coming from a very tenuous journalistic background (and @Oliver Schick is probably better placed to comment on this), I would say that the reason the media always reports it as a 'car' is because they're on safer legal ground, than if they got into specifics about it being a 'driver' (and it therefore inferring the accident being the fault of said 'driver'). (IMHO)

  • So @finger_jockey why do they say 'a cyclist' rather than 'a bike' if that is the case.

  • I would imagine that in terms of litigation, a driver is probably better funded to defend themselves legally. But like I said, this is just hypothetical, I could be very wrong, just an opinion.

    Edit: I would also suggest that in describing the vehicle, it distinguishes it from car/bus/truck etc, and therefore infers the potential severity of the accident.

  • Perhaps instead of pedestrians being struck we should talk about a pair of shoes or suit of clothes being run over.

  • This is one of those issues where a petition might actually make a difference. The legal argument is pretty weak and if newspapers had a show of public support for the change that would potentially further weaken it.

    We absorb a lot of information passively, so minor changes in style can have a big effect on our thinking. It's important to highlight personal responsibility in these accounts; it's not just a car that does these things, it's a person making a choice to drive in a reckless fashion.

  • guess its because, actually the car hits the cyclist and his bicycle. The driver is the responsible for the accident, for driving that car, but car hits the flesh.
    It's like "a victim was found with gun shot wounds", you don't say - the body was found with gunner wounds.

  • No, but you also don't say "a victim was found with gun wounds". Shot here implies and action taken upon the gun so therefore conveys the intervention or actions of a "gunner" or a shooter.

    Hit by a car fails to convey that intervention of a driver and so dehumanises that part of the interaction.

  • But it was mechanical fault that caused the accident er the nut behind the steering wheel.

  • This, I believe, is correct.
    It also tells you about the values behind many publications - they'd rather avoid getting sued than worry about seeming heartless or overly sympathetic towards motorists.
    I agree with posts below, though - it's not exactly logical. To use it in the case of a vehicle where the driver could be any number of people is more understandable, but to still refer to a 'car fleeing the scene' is bizarre as there is clearly responsibility there.

    You can also see that 'car' sounds ominous and dangerous, whereas 'cyclist' sounds personal and vulnerable. If you really wanted to, you could formulate a pro-motorist subtext/conspiracy with this.

  • The laws clearly an ass.
    You pay in
    To become the law.
    By the time youve become the law
    You dont question media
    You play the game
    We uphold that as a society

  • OK so I'm a bit bored of being told I'm a cyclist.

    The man or woman in the car needs to be described as such. " The man driving the car drove it onto the pavement."

    I'm a man first - driver, cyclist or pedestrian second.

  • Just tell them you're really a skülly and watch their reaction. :)

  • I'm a man first - driver, cyclist or pedestrian second.

    There is a hierarchy no?
    @skülly You're a man first - pedestrian, cyclist or driver second

    (Are you a Londoner too? Or British? A Human? Dad? Where do they fit in?)

  • “On Saturday I was clearly visible to the vehicle and stepped out, but the car didn’t see me. It swerved around me at the last second and I had to jump backwards.


    Hey, thats right by my house. Wooo for something posted not in London.

  • Wooo for something posted not in London.

    This is the LONDON FGSS :)

    Though you are right. Such incidents and poor reporting of them are National and international.

    Six cyclists were injured when a car collided with them on Southern Cross Drive near Wentworth Avenue at Mascot on Sunday.


  • I would also suggest that in describing the vehicle, it distinguishes it from car/bus/truck etc, and therefore infers the potential severity of the accident

    So saying car/bus/lorry/ driver would address this issue of severity of the incident (saying accident also either presumes no fault or at least no intention which may not be the case)

  • Police would not confirm the ex-England captain, 39, was involved in the crash in London Colney, Hertfordshire, on Saturday, but said a grey Audi RS6 had collided with a silver Mitsubishi Colt.

    What is certain according to the police is that the grey Audi RS^ WAS involved, though not necessarily David Beckam.
    Why don't those cars look where they are going?

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Say 'drivers', not 'cars': it's the people in inside the boxes that do the stuff

Posted by Avatar for skydancer @skydancer