An accident? Or intentional action?

by | Aug 26, 2010 | Uncategorised | 0 comments

Yesterday I was at a conference all day so only heard about the train “accident” in Blackheath on the radio whilst driving back.
Today I have read a number of articles about it on News24. If they have their information correct the taxi driver overtook a number of cars, drove on the wrong side of the road and ignored the barrier at the crossing.
This isn’t an accident! It is reckless behaviour with a very high possibility of endangering self and others – which tragically is exactly what happened.

My children sometimes do something like place their glass on the floor while watching TV and then knock it over. They would often then say “Sorry, it was an accident.” My response would be “No it isn’t. An accident is bumping the glass when it is in the middle of a table. When you put the glass on the floor you made it highly likely that it would get knocked over by you or someone else.”

We are far too quick to speak about things being accidental these days. If a young child walks into the road in front of a car it is an accident (and a lack of responsibility on the part of their caregiver). If an adult walks into the road, it is reckless and asking to get knocked over.

If we have the knowledge or experience to know the negative consequences of an action then we are responsible for those consequences, if we continue to take the action. It is not an accident.

This may sound like semantics but I think that at a deeper level we are constantly reducing personal responsibility by referring to bad consequences, that could have been avoided, as accidents.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *