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AMI 912 Passenger—Duty to Use Ordinary Care

Arkansas Supreme Court Committee On Jury Instructions-Civil

Ark. Model Jury Instr., Civil AMI 912
Arkansas Model Jury Instructions-Civil
December 2023 Update
Arkansas Supreme Court Committee On Jury Instructions-Civil
Chapter 9. Rules of the Road
AMI 912 Passenger—Duty to Use Ordinary Care
A passenger in an automobile [or other vehicle] is required to use ordinary care for [his][her] own safety.
The court has held it to be proper to refuse this instruction in the following situations: where there was not sufficient time for a warning by passengers to the driver, even assuming such a warning ought to have been given, to have been completed much less to have prevented the head-on accident or reduced its consequences, Reed v. McGibboney, 243 Ark. 789, 422 S.W.2d 115 (1967); where there was no evidence that the driver of an approaching automobile saw, or reasonably should have seen, the danger of a stalled logging truck on the highway and therefore no evidence that passengers’ failure to warn the driver was a proximate cause of the rear-end accident, Johnson Timber Corp. v. Sturdivant, 295 Ark. 622, 752 S.W.2d 241 (1988).
The court held it to be proper to give this instruction in a case in which the passenger was lying down in the back of a van, “not paying attention to anything,” even though he was “unable to see from that position.” Kyser v. Porter, 261 Ark. 351, 357–358, 548 S.W.2d 128, 131–132 (1977). For a comparison of a passenger’s duty with that of a driver, see St. Louis Southwestern Ry. Co. v. Pennington, 261 Ark. 650, 553 S.W.2d 436 (1977).
For discussion of the obligations of passengers when (a) riding with intoxicated drivers and (b) left in a vehicle parked in a position of peril, see Poole v. James, 231 Ark. 810, 332 S.W.2d 833 (1960).
For an early application of the principle reflected in this instruction, and for a discussion of the distinction between imputed negligence of the driver and the passenger’s own duty of care for the passenger’s safety, see Lowden v. Quimby, 192 Ark. 307, 90 S.W.2d 984 (1936).
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