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John Bisnar
John Bisnar
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Orange County motorcycle accident claims life.

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A 24-year-old man died Wednesday night after he was thrown from his motorcycle while trying to avoid getting struck by a vehicle, according to a news report in The Orange County Register.

Nicolas Andrew Cardoza, of Cypress, was traveling on Ball Road near Palm Way when the motorcycle accident occurred, police said. According to eyewitness reports, a Volkswagen sedan traveling in the No. 2 lane on eastbound Ball Road made a lane change into the No. 1 lane – the same lane the motorcycle was traveling in.

Cardoza then swerved to avoid hitting the Volkswagen and ended up striking the center divider, Anaheim police Sgt. Tom Mathisen said to the newspaper.

Cardoza was thrown from the motorcycle and rolled along the center divider, the official said.

“The motorcycle and the sedan did not make contact,” Mathisen said. This is a hugely important piece of evidence in a traffic accident case like this one, especially if the Volkswagen involved in this accident is never identified. For one thing, if there is no contact between the motorcycle and the Volkswagen, Cardoza’s uninsured motorist coverage is not activated for the benefit of his heirs.

Cardoza was transported to UCI Medical Center in Orange with head and chest trauma. He died shortly before 10 p.m. while undergoing an emergency operation.

The article, however, does not mention whether Cardoza was wearing a helmet.

A 2001 study by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration points out that single vehicle motorcycle crashes account for about 45 percent of all motorcyclist fatalities. More than 38,000 motorcyclists have died in single vehicle motorcycle crashes between 1975 and 1999.

The report claims to provide data for insight into possible causes for these fatalities. According to the report, from 1990 through 1999, there were a total of 11,038 fatal single and 294,000 non-fatal single vehicle motorcycle crashes. Of these, an estimated 39,000 involved property damage only and 255,000 involved injuries. Here are some interesting findings from the report:

- Helmet use among fatally injured motorcyclists below 50 percent
– More motorcyclist fatalities are occurring on rural roads
– High blood alcohol levels are a major problem among motorcycle operators
– Half of the fatalities are related to negotiating a curve prior to the crash
- Over 80 percent of the fatalities occur off roadway
- Undivided roadways account for a majority of the fatalities
- Almost two thirds of the fatalities were associated with speeding as an operator contributing factor in the crash
- Almost 60 percent of motorcyclist fatalities occur at night
- Collision with a fixed object is a significant factor in over half of the fatalities
- Braking and steering maneuvers possibly contribute for almost 25 percent of the fatalities

Contact me for a free, no obligation consultation. I have represented numerous victims of motorcycle accidents whether due to a defective part, dangerous roadway or negligent driver, like in Mr. Cardoza’s case.