The blame game

Blog post posted on 01/09/17 |
It certainly seems when it comes to car crashes, if there are no injuries the next most important thing to be decided is … who was to blame?

In pretty much every walk of life, people don’t want to be seen as making mistakes and even more so when it comes to a car crash. After all, most people think themselves as brilliant drivers, don’t they?

It seems amazing that there are such diverse views of a car crash between two (or more) parties, which can lead to blame being shifted from one person to the other and back again. And certainly if you get to see the same crashes from different angles, sometimes there are ‘shades of grey’ rather than ‘black and white.’

But by and large, a crash can usually be attributed to one trigger point that leads to a chain reaction, or simply a crash caused by one person’s defining action.

In my 27 years of driving, I have been involved in three crashes – twice while stationary, and a car each time ploughed into the back of me. In each case most definitely not my fault.

The final time I changed lanes without checking properly in front of a truck. Definitely my fault, as it was me that made the manoeuvre, and I told the truck driver as such.

Many insurers advise you to not admit liability unless you are asked to. In my case, I had no interest in pretending I was the innocent party when clearly I wasn’t. I just wanted to get it processed and move on, instead of fighting something I knew was my fault.

This goes onto my main point. Most people know in their heart of hearts whether or not a crash is their fault. So why is it so hard to admit it? Is it really that masculine (in the case of man!) pride that sees him as less of a male for admitting he’s not as good a driver as Nigel Mansell?

Why pretend? Like all humans, it’s time to just admit one’s shortcomings, learn from them and move on.

By Rodney Kumar, IAM RoadSmart senior communications executive