Last night, even as the 40-year-old Scot was recovering in a Texas hospital following the sickening accident on the last lap of the IndyCar Grand Prix of Houston - he was left with two spinal fractures, a broken right ankle and concussion - Franchitti took time off from worrying about his own travails and passed on his best wishes to the 13 fans who were involved in this latest near-tragedy. It was typical of a man whose myriad achievements have never gained their due credit in his homeland, and who has been one of the finest ambassadors for his country since he moved from his native West Lothian to the United States in the 1990s.
A million miles removed from the anodyne, antiseptic so-called personalities who pervade Formula One these days, Franchitti has thrilled and terrified US television audiences on The Larry King Show and Letterman with his cool-as-Antartica but spell-binding descriptions of how he has emerged unscathed from some truly gut-wrenching multi-car pile-ups.
Prior to Sunday's flirtation with disaster, the most obvious illustration of Franchitti's sangfroid happened after he had been propelled into mid-air, while driving at more than 200mph, during an event in Michigan in 2007. A few hours after staring at oblivion, he analysed the incident as if he had dented a fender on a Sunday picnic excursion. "I want to see a replay of it, though, because I did think at one stage, when I was flying upwards: "Hmm, this isn't good," he told a group of incredulous journalists.
"I had some luck, for sure. But a lot of time and effort has gone into making Indy cars and all types of race cars safer throughout the years. I owe my life to the people who have made these advances and someone was definitely looking out for me there today."
Half a dozen years down the line, Franchitti might believe he has orchestrated another great escape, but there are only so many occasions where fate will come up trumps and, while these motoring maestri are famous for possessing stoicism and self-reservation, nobody has an infinite amount of good fortune.
He is now in his fifth decade, with four IndyCar titles and three prized victories at the Indy 500 under his belt. His place in the pantheon is guaranteed, whatever transpires in the months ahead. In which light, one hopes he recognises that nobody's instincts ever grew sharper at his age, and that there is little to be gained from battling the clock.
After all, Franchitti is one of his domain's most cerebral figures: a fellow who has already attended the funerals of too many colleagues, including those of his cherished comrade, Greg Moore, who perished in 1999, and his compatriot, Dan Wheldon, who fell victim at Las Vegas two years ago, even while Dario was securing the championship. At the climax, the memory of Franchitti sitting in his cockpit, overwhelmed by tristesse, testified to his humanity. But perhaps it should have been the first spur towards retirement.
Of course, his pursuit can never be 100% safe, and matters have improved dramatically since the days when one of Dario's heroes, Jim Clark, was killed in 1968. But the Indy scene remains a perilous milieu and talent and technical expertise can be rendered irrelevant if you happen to be trapped in the wrong place at the wrong time. He shouldn't overstay his welcome in a sport where he is unlikely to add any fresh prizes to his packed trophy cabinet.
He once said: "When Jackie Stewart talks about Jimmy [Clark], he is still in awe and for Jackie to be like that, the guy must have been amazing. The other day, I was thinking about Gilles Villeneuve and I asked myself, 'Was Gilles really as good as I remember?' So I watched some stuff on YouTube and the guy drove an F1 car as if it was a rally car. It was amazing - what a fantastic gift he had."
He was speaking in the past tense. We could easily have been doing the same about Franchitti yesterday.