It is a proud moment for many when they hear the words “you passed” from their driving instructor. The thought of car accidents is far from their minds when they proudly receive their license. But for one man in western Pennsylvania, that proud moment was cut short when he drove the car into a building.

It was literally minutes after he had passed his driving test. He apparently believed that he had put his car into park. Unfortunately for him and his driving instructor, who was still in the car, his mistake caused damage to the DMV building and injured 4 individuals.

Though the four who were hurt in the crash only suffered minor injuries, the driver of the car has much more at stake. For one, he did not pass his driving test. And secondly, though he never intended to crash through the front of the DMV, he may be responsible for the damage that resulted.

Considering the number of people that can be at a DMV at any given time, the injuries sustained could have been much worse. Had one of the individuals been badly struck by the vehicle or any of the debris, there would be medical bills and even lost income for time off work.

More complicated questions arise when considering whether the driver was negligent in using the parking brake. Should he be responsible for all the costs and damages to the building? What about the injuries that people sustained? Those who had been waiting in the building probably never imagined that a car would come crashing through the front window that day.

This situation exemplifies the unexpected nature of a car accident. Drivers often consider the consequences if they were to cause a car crash, but rarely think of the issues that arise when they are the victim.

Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette online, “Man hits license center after taking driver’s test,” Sadie Gurman, 14 October 2010