an accident/a disaster waiting to happen

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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

an accident waiting to happen

1 a potentially disastrous situation, usually caused by negligent or faulty procedures. 2 a person certain to cause trouble.
1 1997 Times Accidents are often said to be ‘waiting to happen’. It does not take much imagination to see that the chaotic start to the Whitbread round-the-world race…could easily have ended in tragedy.
See also: accident, happen, waiting

an ˌaccident/a diˌsaster waiting to ˈhappen

a thing or person that is very likely to cause danger or a problem in the future because of the condition it is in or the way they behave: For many months local residents had been complaining that the building was unsafe, and that it was an accident waiting to happen.
References in periodicals archive ?
Durham MP Roberta Blackman-Woods boycotted the official opening ceremony in July last year after describing the improvement works as "very disappointing" and the traffic lay out on Saddler Street as "an accident waiting to happen".
That all meant Britain dropped to 17th in the rankings Van Commenee said: "It was always an accident waiting to happen that didn't happen here necessarily, it is a process over a number of years.
Commenting that it was "an accident waiting to happen", the judge said that the firm in charge of the building project and airports authority BAA should also be prosecuted for their role in the accident.
Indeed, this study charges, the pipeline may be an accident waiting to happen.
Some analysts and real estate experts are convinced that certain REITs have become over-valued and are an accident waiting to happen. On the other hand, many REITs have been traded on the stock exchanges for decades and have proven performance and track records.
Police said it was an 'accident waiting to happen'.
BY TOM PETTIFOR Chief Crime Correspondent THE "callous" cyclist who killed a mum-of-two while riding an illegal bike was branded an "accident waiting to happen" as he was jailed for 18 months.
FRUSTRATED residents say a parking problem is making their road "an accident waiting to happen".
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?
LUIS SUAREZ was "an accident waiting to happen" and the "time had come" for him to leave Liverpool this summer, according to Richard Scudamore.
Rae Lee Ahlhelm Simmonds ACCIDENT waiting to happen with recent events that took place in an Asda store; too easy access to lethal weapons?
As there are no handrails on the steep stairs, I fear it's an accident waiting to happen.
As the rescuers rush into the burning building, Kerry's well-deserved reputation as an accident waiting to happen is rubber-stamped.
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?', June 29).