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:
“This is the real creation: not the accident of childbirth, but the miracle of man-birth and woman-birth.”
—D.H. (David Herbert)
“There is a limit to the application of democratic methods. You can inquire of all the passengers as to what type of car they like to ride in, but it is impossible to question them as to whether to apply the brakes when the train is at full speed and accident threatens.”
—Leon Trotsky (18791940)
“Thus he struggled, by every method, to keep his light shining before men. Surely the lighthouse-keeper has a responsible, if an easy, office. When his lamp goes out, he goes out; or, at most, only one such accident is pardoned.”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)