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Man Killed in Westminster Motorcycle Accident

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A 29-year-old man killed in a Westminster motorcycle accident on November 19, 2008 has been identified as Huan Vo of Fountain Valley. According to a news report in The Orange County Register, Vo was traveling east on Edinger Avenue near Magnolia Street when an 87-year-old woman in a silver Toyota Camry made a left turn in front of him into a shopping center.

Vo was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead. The woman did not suffer any apparent injuries, but people who saw the 11/19/08 motorcycle crash say she appeared to be “shaken up.” This article received a number of reader comments and many readers agree that the woman made an illegal left turn crossing over solid double yellow lines on Edinger.

I feel terrible for the family and friends of young Huan Vo who have obviously suffered a tremendous loss. My heart goes out to everyone who knew and loved Huan Vo.

I’d bet the elderly driver did make an illegal left turn on Edinger Avenue to get into the shopping center parking lot. There are solid double yellow lines at that location. In her anxiety to make the turn, she probably did not see the approaching motorcycle. Tragic! It remains to be seen whether this woman will be cited or if she will face criminal charges in connection with this accident. But it is apparent that she will be held civilly responsible for this horrific crash that took a young man away from his family and friends.

The family of Huan Vo would be well-advised to consult with an experienced Orange County motorcycle accident attorney, who will make sure that their legal rights are protected and help them secure the compensation they rightfully deserve. A skilled personal injury lawyer will also examine the incident for other factors such as mechanical malfunctions, product defects or a dangerous roadway condition that could have played a role in the crash.

This tragic Orange County motorcycle accident also highlights an important public safety issue that we as a society face today – senior drivers. According to trend studies performed by the California Department of Motor Vehicles, traffic collision rates begin to climb for both men and women after they turn 70. These studies also show that at-fault fatal accidents particularly increase when people hit 80. Interestingly enough, the same study also finds that senior drivers are significantly more likely than teens and all other age groups to be making a turn before a crash.

Given what we know today about senior drivers and their propensity to become involved in more serious crashes as they turn older, it is time to institute a more stringent reexamination process for drivers in that age group. The DMV should have mandatory reexaminations starting when people turn 70 instead of waiting for events and symptoms such as excessive tickets, traffic accidents or a report from a doctor, family member or peace officer. Deteriorating vision, cognition and motor function make the elderly particularly vulnerable in situations that require clear vision, attention and quick response. Seniors must be tested and evaluated on a regular basis to renew their driver’s licenses for their own safety and the safety of others on the road.

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