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New Year's Eve accidents claim two lives

Driving in the Phoenix metro area can be especially treacherous on New Year's Eve. Two accidents reported by AZfamily.com exemplify how dangerous the roads (or more importantly, other drivers) may be as people ring in the New Year.

In one instance, a man perished after a short police chase resulted in a crash. Police reported that they stopped a vehicle for a routine traffic stop and found that both the driver and passenger had outstanding warrants. After commanding them to exit the vehicle, the passenger allegedly pushed the driver out of the car, got behind the wheel and drove away.

The driver lost control of the car 10 blocks later and crashed.

Another driver was killed after reportedly making an illegal U-turn. The crash occurred just after 2:00 a.m. on New Year's Day. It is unclear whether the crash was a head-on collision with the other vehicle, but the offending driver was taken to the hospital where he later died from his injuries. It is also unknown whether he was under the influence of alcohol or any other banned substances. The occupants of the other vehicle were not injured.

The accidents are reminders of a driver's duty to use reasonable care while behind the wheel. Each driver in Arizona has a responsibility to use the same care and prudence a reasonable person would while driving. If a driver does not use such care, and an accident occurs, he or she could be held responsible. This means that injured parties could seek compensation for pain and suffering, medical expenses and a host of other costs.

Source: AZFamily.com, "1 killed in New Year's Day collision," Christina O'Haver, January 1, 2014

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