After setting our clocks back to end daylight savings time, darkness falls in Portland as early as 5:00 p.m. At this hour, many people are still coming home from work or school while others are headed out to dinner, running errands, or engaging in their favorite hobbies and activities. Unfortunately, early nightfall increases the overall likelihood that car accidents will happen and people out walking and enjoying the evening are among those most at risk. Considering the serious and often life-threatening injuries pedestrian accidents can result in, it is important to be aware of the dangers and the steps you can take to protect yourself.
Pedestrian Accident Risks Increase After Dark
Portland has seen more than its share of pedestrian accidents over the course of 2019. Despite improvements to sidewalks and road infrastructure, traffic accidents continue to plague the city on a regular basis, rapidly outnumbering figures from recent years. According to traffic fatality trackers maintained by Bike Portland, more than 40 fatal crashes have occurred thus far this year, over a quarter of which involved pedestrians. Unfortunately, with fewer daylight hours during the late fall and early winter months, these numbers are likely to increase.
Evening is the riskiest time of the day to be out walking. The National Safety Council (NSC) reports that pedestrians are more than twice as likely to be struck by passing motor vehicles after dark than at any other time. The dangers increase on weekends, in urban areas, and in sections of the city where there are no sidewalks or traffic signals at intersections. When nighttime pedestrian accidents do occur, those involved are more likely to suffer severe and potentially life-threatening injuries.
Ways to Protect Yourself When Walking A Night
Now that daylight savings time is over for 2019, people are more likely to find themselves out walking in the dark, either at night or during the early morning hours before the sun comes up. To protect yourself and reduce your pedestrian accident risks, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommends the following safety tips:
- Make it a point to wear light, bright colors when walking in the dark.
- Carry a flashlight or use reflective tape on jackets, backpacks, or other items.
- Chart your route to take advantage of sidewalks and intersections where there are crosswalks or pedestrian traffic signals.
- Avoid walking along highways or other heavily congested areas.
- Avoid distractions such as listening to music on earbuds or texting, which could cause you to miss signs that an accident is imminent.
- Avoid walking while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or medications. If you are enjoying a night out with friends, consider getting a ride home instead.
Reach Out to Our Portland Pedestrian Accidents Attorneys
At the Johnston Law Firm, P.C., we help victims of pedestrian accidents get the compensation they are entitled to in a claim. To discuss your options, reach out and call (503) 546-3167 or contact our Portland pedestrian accident attorneys online today to request a consultation.