Originally Posted by Ray,IN
Crash scene investigators say there are no "accidents", they are all crashes caused by someone/thing.
That is true but what is the point? Having had accident/incident investigation training and participating is the investigation process I can confirm what was said as being true. Never-the-less, that is a distinction of little or no distinction for the vast majority of situations.
One definition of an accident is, "A series of events that leads to a catastrophic failure." When investigating accidents there are "face value facts". These generally lead to awarding some kind of statement on what the accident was both at officially recognized and publicly accepted statements of what the accident was. As an example, the truck driver fell asleep at the wheel and hit another car. But from an investigatory stand point, these are really a statements of what happened but not what caused it.
Investigators have to drill down deeper to find the root causes for a failure in the system. Did the truck driver drive too long, did the company push them too hard, was the car parked in the wrong place, and a whole host of factors that make up the final outcome. The purpose is to find systemic reasons for the outcome.
Once this is done then a systemic look at all factors leading to the outcome are given some kind of weight in figuring out risk factors. Some of this is an example of which came first, the chicken or the egg. (i.e. Is the root cause for the accident related to driver fatigue or company policy making the driver work until they are to tired?) So, in my example it would be clear that a sleeping driver was the predominate factor/event of the incident. The value of looking at the incident from a systemic model is tweaking factors associated with the risk. Looking into driver scheduling, company operating practices, equipment condition, ramp/parking area designing are some of the factors looked into. The goal is to find commonality with other similar events and to design procedures/equipment/training/roadway designs. This process helps find ways to help mitigate the inherent dangers related to vehicle operations.
OK...This sounds like I am dissecting this accident that started the thread and I have no facts directly related to that incident. I just sketched out a plausible set of similar circumstances for illustrative purposes.
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