an accident waiting to happen

an accident waiting to happen

A person, thing, or situation that appears to be imminently dangerous or troublesome. Often but not always used somewhat humorously. Don't leave that ladder in the middle of the yard, it's just an accident waiting to happen! My toddler is starting to walk now, and she is just an accident waiting to happen.
See also: accident, happen, waiting

an accident waiting to happen

COMMON
1. If you describe a situation or activity as an accident waiting to happen, you mean that they are likely to be a cause of danger in the future. A lot of the city's buildings are accidents waiting to happen. The sudden explosion of a real bullet on stage during the play was an accident waiting to happen.
2. If you describe a person as an accident waiting to happen, you mean that they are likely to cause trouble or have bad problems. He was getting a reputation for being wild — an accident waiting to happen.
See also: accident, happen, waiting
References in periodicals archive ?
Given this is a very busy dual carrageway, incidents of this type seems to me like an accident waiting to happen.
THE death of a young father after he became trapped under a giant steel girder was an accident waiting to happen, a court has heard.
Cyclists on our roads are an accident waiting to happen, they look at the motorist as if we should not be on the road, and we pay to use them.
But it seems this was an accident waiting to happen after local residents warned that the road was too dangerous for the school to add six more classrooms.
Jonathan Hall: "It's an accident waiting to happen, you can't see what's coming round the roundabout at the top of the sliproad now until you are virtually past the junction, the sooner it's taken down the better.
As this effectively blinds motorists as they approach one of the two pedestrian crossings across this busy road, surely it's an accident waiting to happen, and one that our planning department should have seen coming?
This whole stretch is an accident waiting to happen.
IT IS an accident waiting to happen on the approach to the University Hospital of Wales from the west of Western Avenue.
As there are no handrails on the steep stairs, I fear it's an accident waiting to happen.
The ones at Greystone are an accident waiting to happen.
UK Athletics head coach Charles van Commenee admitted the failure of Britain's female sprint relay team to qualify for the London Olympics was an accident waiting to happen.
I HAVE driven along Ashes Lane almost daily for 35 years and that pole has been an accident waiting to happen for years (Examiner, 'Is this pole posing a danger to drivers?
The failure of Britain's female sprint relay team to qualify for the Olympics was an accident waiting to happen, says the UK's head athletics coach.
Summary: Motoring legend Nigel Mansell says the crash that killed British racing driver Dan Wheldon was an accident waiting to happen.
Diego Maradona has got his golden trident of strikers but defensively they are an accident waiting to happen and the one thing we know about South Korea is that they will attack with pace and that might be Argentina's undoing.