English Idioms Daily Blog

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Accident Waiting to Happen

The English idiom an accident waiting to happen refers to a foreseeable accident or problem. In other words, a bad or dangerous situation that one can see happening before it actually occurs. There are many things in this world that people think are accidents waiting to happen. Look at these recent headlines to see a few examples:

Yotaro Hatamura: Was Fukushima an Accident Waiting to Happen?
- pbs.org, 28 February 2012, FRONTLINE
US deficit accident waiting to happen, says IIF head
-channelnewsasia.com, 26 February 2012, AFP/de
Cell Phone Texting: A Car Accident Waiting to Happen
Abandoned buildings are accidents waiting to happen, says Manchester Councillor following Levenshulme fire
-mancunianmatters.co.uk, 6 April 2012, Sean-Paul Doran and Darren heath

The articles above refer to the nuclear plant disaster in Fukushima, the US deficit and abandoned buildings as
accidents waiting to happen, i.e. foreseeable or predictable problems.
The following YouTube video - an advertisement that shows what can happen when you drive too fast - will give you a visual impression of what
an accident waiting to happen is:

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