Before you completely read this post, please ask yourself if you could easily draw a distinction between the words "Accident" and "Crash"?
Most people I know cannot easily define the difference in using these words when talking about an automobile related incident when two vehicles are involved.
All of us have been reared thinking that virtually everything that happens in our lives that is not a desired outcome is the result of an accident. If we spill our milk as a child we are told it was "just an accident". If we knock over mom's flowers and water goes everywhere, it is "an accident" The list of things in our lives where the word "accident" is used covers virtually anything that we "didn't mean to do".
When a commercial airliner falls out of the sky killing everyone on board it is called an accident. However, when that does happen, even infrequently, it is investigated so intensely with the goal of finding the "root" cause, that everyone should be lead to believe that it's actually a "crash" because it doesn't just happen!
An Accident is defined as "an event that happens by chance or that is without apparent or deliberate cause". In my mind, that would be something like a meteorite hitting your vehicle as you are driving down the highway. That's something that you cannot prepare for because if it was you would stay home that day! In a car interaction between two cars the only way you should be able to call what happened "an accident" would be if you were rear-ended by someone because you have no ability to apply the offender's brakes to avoid the crash.
The best way for each of us to control ourselves safely when driving is to drive as if around the next corner we may be involved in a crash. The Boy/Girl Scout's motto, "Be Prepared" is the only way to drive safely on the roadways. Doing anything other than continually driving safely will set you up for a failure that has no predetermined limits between a "fender-bender" and a fatality.
Driving defensively can, and must, be done with premeditation! Crashes that do not happen because you were aggressively protecting yourself and others from an event are not easily noticed for what they are. When you "almost" have a crash it should be seen a major opportunity to learn from. This learning process can then be factored into your remaining driving lifetime and if you have children, or other loved ones, make sure you share your experience with them - Pay it Forward!
Please drive safely ON PURPOSE otherwise you'll know what you should have done potentially with a major negative experience that alters the rest of your life permanently and negatively.