run off (the/a) road

esperansa

Senior Member
Russian
Hello!

When context is about driving a car or a trip by car, 'run off the road' always means a car accident, right?

Please confirm whether this turn of speech implies that a person lost control of a car and, for example, got to the ditch? Is it not the same as 'drive off the road on purpose'?

Let me know which of the examples is idiomatic?

I ran off the road.
I ran off a road.
I ran off road.
 
Last edited:
  • Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    It's not exactly "a car accident". You left the paved surface because another car forced you to do so.
    I run... no, someone did this to me. It needs a passive voice.
    I was run off the road. "The" because I am referring to the specific road that I was on at the time.
    I was run off a road. Not likely. I'm always on one road at a time.
    I run off road. No. "Off road" means "I run (on my legs) through an unpaved area" - the countryside, a field, etc.
     

    esperansa

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Myridon, could you clarify your expression "I'm always on one road at a time"?
    I want to say that in an active voice. So my question is whether I can utter 'I ran my car off the road' to mean a car accident?
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    "A road" is any one of several of roads. My car is always on the road that it is on. There is an assumption that you were on a road, so it becomes the road as if it were already mentioned.
    You don't run off the road. Someone runs you off the road.
    Active: Another car ran me off the road. A truck ran me off the road.
    A car accident generally implies damage. Unless you hit a tree when you were run off the road, it is more of a traffic incident than a car accident. You almost had a car accident but you avoided it by driving off the road. You steered the car on purpose, but you were forced to do so by another vehicle.
     

    esperansa

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Thank you. Now I understand that better. Could you express this phrase in other words? What are the synonymous phrases? I found the verb drive out in the dictionary, and I suspect it is incorrect in that context. Can I say that the truck forced somebody to drive off the road?
     
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