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Dos and Don’ts To Prevent Pedestrian Injuries When Walking at Night

The high rate of pedestrian accidents and injuries in Portland over the course of 2019 have public safety officials concerned. Efforts among law enforcement at apprehending reckless drivers and Infrastructure improvements, such as more sidewalks and traffic signals, are important but have failed to reduce the overall number of victims. The evening hours are the most common time of day for pedestrian injuries to occur. To stay safe, city residents need to take matters into their own hands. Be aware of the inherent risks when walking at night and the actions you can take to protect yourself. 

Impaired Drivers Make Walking at Night More Dangerous

A recent pedestrian accident in Portland left two people injured and is the latest in a series of similar crashes that have claimed dozens of victims over the past year. According to a November 16, 2019 news report by Fox 12 Oregon, the incident happened shortly after 1:00 a.m. at the corner of West Burnside Street and Northwest 16th Avenue. Witnesses claim a man and a woman were walking in the area when they were struck by a passing vehicle. Police report that the driver was apprehended and is being charged with driving under the influence of intoxicants, reckless driving, and third-degree assault. The accident is the 58th time the Major Crash Team has been activated in Portland this year. 

Encountering an impaired driver is one of the biggest risks when walking at night. While late nights are particularly dangerous, the fact that it gets dark so early at this time of year warrants extra precautions when walking anytime after 5:00 p.m. In addition to decreased visibility among drivers, be alert for speeding, distracted driving, and other reckless behaviors which increase the odds for pedestrian injuries. 

Protecting Yourself Against Pedestrian Injuries

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as many as 6,000 people are killed and over 120,000 end up suffering serious injuries as a result of pedestrian accidents each year. Walking in urban areas, crossing at undesignated intersections, and walking at night are the three most common risks. To avoid becoming a victim of pedestrian injuries, follow these dos and don’ts: 

  • Do wear light, bright colors when walking at night;
  • Don’t wear earbuds, which can distract you from clues that an accident is imminent; 
  • Do use only designated crosswalks and wait for traffic signals;
  • Don’t automatically assume drivers see you or will stop;
  • Do remain on sidewalks at all times;
  • Don’t walk while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or medications;

If a pedestrian accident does occur, report it to the police immediately. Get medical care for your injuries, even if they appear to be minor. Not doing so could jeopardize your health and your rights in a personal injury claim. 

Contact Our Portland Pedestrian Injury Attorneys

If you are involved in a pedestrian accident, the Johnston Law Firm, P.C. can advise you on how to get the compensation you need to recover. To request a consultation, call (503) 546-3167 or contact our Portland pedestrian injury attorneys online today. 


Marc Johnston

Lead Attorney at Johnston Law Firm, P.C.

Based in downtown Portland, Marc A. Johnston is the owner and managing attorney of the award-winning, internationally-known personal injury law firm, Johnston Law Firm, P.C. Marc's career has been dedicated to representing the injured and individuals who have been treated unfairly by an insurance company. His focus on trial law creates the backbone of the Johnston Law Firm — a firm that is ready to go the distance in seeking justice for its clients.