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Older Adults, Children Among Those Most at Risk for Pedestrian Accidents

With pedestrian accidents an increasingly common problem in Portland, it is important to be aware of the risks. Two specific age groups are among those most vulnerable: older adults and young children. Those over the age of 65 often suffer from impairments that put them at a disadvantage when attempting to walk or cross busy city streets. Young children are typically impulsive and unaware of the dangers they face, making them more likely to become victims. Unfortunately, in addition to being most at risk for pedestrian accidents, these age groups are also the most likely to suffer potentially life-threatening injuries. 

Elderly Woman Killed in East Portland Pedestrian Accident

The city of Portland is still reeling after a string of motor vehicle accidents which claimed the lives of several people. One of the victims was an 82-year-old woman in East Portland, who was killed as she attempted to cross one of the city’s busiest and most dangerous streets. 

According to a June 11, 2019 report by East PDX news, the accident occurred at the intersection of SE Foster Road and 71st Avenue, an area that recently benefited from traffic improvements. Police investigators report that the woman was crossing at an unmarked intersection when she was struck. The driver involved, who was distraught over hitting the woman, remained at the scene. They were eventually cleared to leave and no criminal charges were filed. 

Stepping into traffic, not waiting for walk signals, misinterpreting traffic conditions, and navigating slowly through busy areas are all problems that can put older pedestrians at risk. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people over the age of 65 account for more than 20 percent of all pedestrian fatalities. Physical impairments, the use of medications, and the inability to bounce back as quickly after accidental injuries are all contributing factors. 

Younger Pedestrians at Risk

In addition to older adults, the CDC reports that young children are also among those most at risk for pedestrian accidents. These types of crashes were responsible for roughly one out of every five motor vehicle accident deaths among children under 15. The smaller the child is, the more likely they are to be struck and to suffer serious, potentially life-threatening injuries. According to, common ways these accidents can occur include: 

  • Backover accidents, which can occur while they are playing in neighborhood driveways or walking through parking lots;
  • Bolting accidents, which can happen when they dart out between cars in pursuit of balls, friends, pets, or other items;
  • Sidewalk accidents, when they fail or step into the path of traffic;
  • Intersection accidents, which can occur when they fail to use crosswalks or look both ways before crossing.  

Contact Us Today for Help

When pedestrian accidents happen to those you love, the Johnston Law Firm provides the caring support and professional legal representation you need. To discuss how we can help you hold at-fault drivers accountable, call (503) 546-3167 or contact our Portland pedestrian accident attorneys online to request a consultation 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.