Car Accidents and Collaboration

Researchers who study discourse often make use of the term ‘joint action’ to describe the collaborative processes that underlie communication. This refers to the collaborative nature of communication and especially discourse. When joint actions fail, communication fails.

There’s a parallel we can make to using joint action to describe how drivers share the road. When joint actions fail on the road, car accidents happen.

Joint Action on the Road

Drivers constantly engage in collaboration with other drivers. For example, a four way stop involves not just following the rules of the road but also monitoring and collaborating with other drivers at the stop.

In this example, it is the rules of the road, so to speak, that lay the foundation for joint action on the road. Since multiple drivers use the road, collaboration in the form of following the rules is necessary in order for the system to actually work.

When Collaboration Fails

Collaboration on the road often fails. Two important aspects of joint action are monitoring and adjusting. When driving, these can be thought of as observing the conditions of the road and other drivers and taking the proper actions that are necessitated by those observations.

When either of these aspects of joint actions occur, there are devastating effects. Automobile accidents can be attributed to a failure in terms of these two aspects. Thinking of driving as a collaborative process can make you aware of these potential failures and consequently, a safer driver.

The problem is that no matter how aware you are of these, we have no control over how aware other drivers are. If you or someone you love has been involved in a car accident as a result of other drivers’ collaborative failures, you may be entitled to a settlement. Contact the car accident specialists at Nadrich and Cohen to see what they can do for you.

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