Late one night, Lara Brown is roused from sleep, uncertain if she is dreaming or if her "mother senses" have set off an alarm. Reality slaps her awake and she bolts from the bed. She follows the sound of her teenage daughter, Sarah, who is violently vomiting in the bathroom down the hall. When Lara reaches Sarah, she comforts her, and at the same time assesses the situation. All of the signs, including the smell of whisky and the empty pill bottle by Sarah's side, point to attempted suicide.
As the incident unfolds, Lara is taken back through her daughter's life to recall the first time her life was in danger and to seek answers for why and how these frightening events have impacted their lives.
Lara experiences the challenges of raising a teenage daughter who is determined to live her life teetering on the edges, narrowly escaping destruction on numerous occasions. While Sarah walks the edges of her existence, she experiments dangerously with drugs, sex, and the mosh pits of hardcore music festivals. Facing dismissal from an exclusive boarding school, Sarah migrates to other educational institutions, jeopardizing her chances of finishing high school, and being accepted to a university.
Lara's efforts to keep her daughter on track are not without cost and consequence as she suffers constant misery, exhaustion, and doubt about her role in her daughter's troubled life. At times she wonders if the trials and tribulations will ever end.
An Accident Waiting to Happen tells the story of a complicated teenage daughter who is creative, intelligent, and unique, and the mother who loves her.