For pedestrians, crossing busy residential streets and city intersections can create significant hazards. In an effort to help prevent pedestrian accidents, Portland has made significant efforts to provide either marked or unmarked crosswalks throughout the area. While designed to make crossing to the other side of the street safer, they are not fail proof in protecting people from harm. A recent accident illustrates the dangers and how even with crosswalks in place, serious injuries can occur.
Portland Pedestrian Suffers Injuries in Crosswalk Accident
According to a Fox 12 Oregon news report, a Portland man suffered serious and potentially life threatening injuries after being involved in a pedestrian crosswalk accident on October 12, 2018. The incident occurred just after 3:30 p.m. on a Thursday afternoon, at the corner of East Burnside Street and S.E. 55th Avenue, in Southeast Portland.
Based on preliminary investigations, law enforcement officials believe the man was struck while attempting to cross the street by a vehicle attempting to make a turn. The driver stopped at the scene of the accident and is cooperating with authorities. No arrests were made, nor have citations been issued yet in the case. The unidentified victim was taken to a local hospital and is in critical condition.
Under the Oregon Revised Statutes, every intersection and certain mid block sections of the street are considered a legal crosswalk. Depending on the level of traffic at a particular location, some may be unmarked crosswalk areas while others are clearly marked with white lines and pedestrian beacons. The area where the above recent pedestrian accident occurred was a marked intersection.
Crosswalks Not Foolproof In Eliminating Pedestrian Accidents
When pedestrian accidents happen, they tend to be severe. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), pedestrian accidents make up nearly 20 percent of all traffic fatalities, killing close to 6,000 people each year. With little to protect pedestrians in these collisions, crosswalks are designed to be a line of defense, alerting drivers to slow down and providing those walking with the right of way.
Unfortunately, pedestrian crosswalks are not foolproof, as the above accident illustrates. It is important for people who are walking to be aware of extra measures they can take to protect themselves:
- Even in a marked crosswalk or one with traffic beacons, be aware that all drivers may not heed signals;
- Always look left, then right, then left again before stepping into the street;
- Attempt to make eye contact with drivers in nearby vehicles, to confirm that they see you;
- When crossing multiple lanes of traffic, do not assume drivers in other lanes will stop.
Let Us Help You Today
At the Johnston Law Firm, we help you get the compensation you need when accidents and injuries occur. If you are involved in a pedestrian crosswalk accident, we encourage you to contact our Portland pedestrian accident attorneys and request a consultation to see how we can help. Call (503) 546-3167.