Improve Your English – Lesson 8: The Difference between Accident/Incident
The words accident and incident are often used interchangeably, but they should not be.
An accident is an unforeseen, unpredictable event.
An incident is also an event, but may or may not be unforeseen and unpredictable. An incident may also be planned and occur deliberately.
- Don’t say: A man murdered his parents last night in order to gain access to their money. This kind of accident is deplorable and has shocked the entire nation. (If a man plans a
murder it is not an accident, it is an incident.)
- Do say: This kind of incident is deplorable and has shocked the entire nation.