An accident or mishap is an unforeseen and unplanned event or circumstance, often with lack of intention or necessity. It usually implies a generally negative outcome which may have been avoided or prevented had circumstances leading up to the accident been recognized, and acted upon, prior to its occurrence.
Experts in the field of injury prevention avoid use of the term 'accident' to describe events that cause injury in an attempt to highlight the predictable and preventable nature of most injuries. Such incidents are viewed from the perspective of epidemiology - predictable and preventable. Preferred words are more descriptive of the event itself, rather than of its unintended nature (e.g., collision, drowning, fall, etc.)
Accidents of particularly common types (crashing of automobiles, events causing fire, etc.) are investigated to identify how to avoid them in the future. This is sometimes called root cause analysis, but does not generally apply to accidents that cannot be deterministically predicted. A root cause of an uncommon and purely random accident may never be identified, and thus future similar accidents remain "accidental."
Read more about Accident: Most Common Causes
Famous quotes containing the word accident:
“There is no accident so unfortunate but wise men will make some advantage of it, nor any so entirely fortunate but fools may turn it to their own prejudice.”
—François, Duc De La Rochefoucauld (16131680)
“Fortuitous circumstances constitute the moulds that shape the majority of human lives, and the hasty impress of an accident is too often regarded as the relentless decree of all ordaining fate.”
—Augusta Evans (18351909)