|Passive voice and erasing the driver|
a Chevrolet passenger van made a left-hand turn and was struck by a Ford F-350 pickup truckBut better:
While driving a Chevrolet passenger van Pablo Gaspar-Ezequiel made a left-hand turn and collided with Cory Kudna driving a Ford F-350 pickup truckThis also avoids assigning blame to one driver or the other, but it also points to the fact the people were in charge of the vehicles, even when one or both of them made catastrophic errors.
By contrast, a piece about the sentencing of a driver in a DUI case, where guilt has already been adjudicated, is unambiguous about the grammatical and moral subject.
|Active voice with driver as subject|
That we are not always comfortable doing so is a way that autoism has come to mystify the dangers of our roads and of car use. Police do this, reporters do this, and most of us do this also in our casual conversation. It's a cultural pattern. But it should be broken.
|Columbia Journalism Review|