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Four Tips for Portland Parents to Prevent Back to School Pedestrian Accidents

For parents, the end of summer means a flurry of activity as they get their children ready to go back to school. Shopping for new clothing, electronics, notebooks, and other supplies middle and high school students need is likely at the top of your list. However, it is also a good time to review basic information to keep your child safe on the way to school and when returning home. Pedestrian accidents are a major concern in our area, and young people are among the most common victims.

Pedestrian Accidents In Portland

According to the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), pedestrian accidents continue to be an increasingly dangerous problem, leaving more than 1,000 people in our state with serious injuries each year. As they are the most vulnerable of all road users, with little to protect them in collisions involving motor vehicles, injuries suffered in these accidents tend to be severe.  

In our immediate area, Portland’s Vision Zero program reports that of the close to 40 traffic deaths that occurred over the course of 2017, nearly half involved pedestrians. Reckless behavior on the part of motorists is often responsible for these types of crashes, and children are among the most common victims. Unfortunately, school zones are one of the places where young people are most at risk. As Portland students get ready to return to classes at the end of August, it is important for parents to take the time now to ensure children are aware of the dangers and how to protect themselves.

Tips to Protect Students Against School Zone Pedestrian Accidents

State officials report that reckless behavior on the part of motorists is the leading cause of pedestrian accidents. This includes speeding, distracted driving, and disregarding traffic signs and signals. These types of behaviors can be particularly dangerous in and around schools, where there are likely to be hundreds of children congregating at different times of the day.

According to, young people account for nearly half of all pedestrian accident victims and school zones are one of the places in which they are most at risk. While law enforcement does their part in terms of monitoring the situation and apprehending reckless drivers, parents are encouraged to follow these tips:

  • Reduce distractions: Remind your child to avoid distractions, such as texting and using headphones, when walking to and from school.
  • Be visible: Provide bright, light colored jackets to increase your child’s visibility, particularly in the early morning and evening hours.
  • Follow crosswalk rules: Make children aware of where crosswalks are and insist they use them at all times.
  • Use drop off lanes: If you drive your child to school use drop off lanes rather than parking on the other side of the street, which increases pedestrian accident risks.

Contact Us Today for Help

At the Johnston Law Firm, we provide trusted, caring legal representation to help you get the compensation you need to recover when accidents occur. Call (503) 546-3167 or contact our office online today and request a consultation with our Portland pedestrian accident attorney 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.