It's true! Under Florida law, cars are considered “dangerous instrumentalities” because they are capable of causing serious bodily injury, even death, in the manner they are used, i.e., driven at high rates of speed. Think about that for a moment. The law considers your car as dangerous as a gun or explosive device.
Despite this, we do not always operate our cars as carefully as we would a hand-grenade, when we drive while texting or otherwise distracted going forty or fifty miles plus in traffic. But, the accident that can easily happen when we do that, and the lifelong injuries that can result, make it clear our vehicles are indeed exceptionally dangerous instrumentalities. We are hopeful this reminder—that your car is as dangerous as dynamite—will help you and your family drive more cautiously and defensively to avoid a devastating, life-changing accident.
The Inherent Danger of Vehicles Can Also Make You, as the Owner, Liable for an Accident You Did Not Cause
In addition, for parents out there with teen drivers or other friends or relatives you allow to drive your vehicle, this is a reminder that because cars are considered inherently dangerous, you—the title owner—can be held responsible for an accident caused by anyone driving your vehicle with your permission. Meaning, if you allow your son, your nephew, even your friend, to drive your car and he or she causes an accident, you as the owner can be held liable for any injuries caused. That is a great responsibility. One you should be aware of and thinking about as you hand the keys over.
Remind Those You Lend Your Vehicle To of the Danger of Driving While Distracted
If you do lend your vehicle to someone else, it is also a good opportunity to remind whoever you lend your vehicle to how dangerous your car can truly be and how important it is that he or she maintain focus on the road and drive your vehicle with care. It only takes a single moment to divert your eyes from the road and cause a collision that can injure you and the other driver permanently. Reminding other drivers of this can not only help save their life, it could save you as well from being held vicariously liable for an accident you did not cause.