Rod’s Risk Rant – this is not an accident!!!!

As a professional risk manager, I am nearly lost for words at what took place in New York on 9th October 2018.

A group of people heading to a birthday celebration had booked a party bus which, unfortunately, broke down.  In its place, a limousine was ordered, and all of the revellers piled into the car.

Little did they know that it was the last journey any of them would make.

The limousine itself had recently failed a safety inspection and should not have been on the road.  The driver did not have the appropriate licence to be driving that vehicle.

It was reported that the limousine went through a stop sign, struck and killed two pedestrians before careering into a ditch, killing all occupants of the vehicle.

The word accident has been used extensively in the reporting of this incident but, in my opinion, this is a complete representation of the circumstances that led to this tragedy.

Dictionary.com has a range of definitions including:

An undesirable or unfortunate happening that occurs unintentionally and usually
results in harm, injury, damage, or loss; casualty; mishap

any event that happens unexpectedly, without a deliberate plan or cause

The highlighted part of the 2nd definition is where I want to focus my attention.  The car was deliberately put on the road despite it failing a safety inspection.  The driver was deliberately placed in the vehicle with the knowledge he did not have the appropriate licences.  There was absolutely nothing accidental about this incident

If the car was in good condition; the driver was appropriately licenced, and the vehicle swerved to miss an obstacle that had appeared in its path –that is an accident.

This was not an accident!!!!!

 

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