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Improper passing is a common cause of head-on car accidents

One of the most hazardous moves a driver can take is to pass a slow car on a two-lane road that consists of only one lane in each direction. There is always the risk that after the operator has moved into the left lane there will be oncoming traffic. These situations often result in car accidents, mainly because it is not always easy for drivers to know whether there is traffic coming in the other direction. A recent New Hampshire accident occurring in that manner resulted in one death and two serious injuries.

The accident happened on Route 101 in Milford. The operator of a crossover pulled into the passing lane in order to pass a slower car that was ahead of it. The move turned out to be disastrous, and the crossover crashed head-on with an approaching vehicle. The crossover ended up hanging over a guard rail on top of the highway below, but it did not fall into the lower roadway.

The driver of the crossover was hospitalized. The other car was driven by a man, and his wife was in the driver's seat. The man was injured and his wife died from the crash. Police concluded that there was no impairment by either of the operators but did indicate the crossover operator was at least guilty of making an unsafe lane change.

Based on the reported facts, the driver who took the chance of pulling into the lane that carries oncoming traffic was negligent in not observing the oncoming vehicle. This is a common cause of car accidents in New Hampshire and elsewhere. An operator should not pass in a situation when visibility ahead is blocked by bad weather or a bend in the road.

The injured and deceased victims in this case are entitled to collect for their personal injuries from the crossover operator. In the case of the deceased wife, her estate is entitled to bring a wrongful death action for lost earning capacity for the remainder of her estimated life span and for other statutorily prescribed damages. Her husband may bring a standard personal injury action under New Hampshire law pertaining to car accidents and negligence. 

Source: whdh.com, "1 killed, 2 injured in Milford, N.H. car crash", Jonathan Hall, May 3, 2016

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