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Pedestrian Safety Tips for Back to School

With Portland parents busy getting their children ready for another school year, it is the ideal time to review some basic safety precautions to help ensure they get to and from classes safely. Pedestrian accidents and injuries are at a high this year and children are among those most at risk. In addition to helping to ensure primary school children are protected, we have also collected some tips that apply for Portland’s college students.  

Protecting Children at Bus Stops and on the Way to School

According to traffic safety reports from the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT), between 10 and 15 people are killed each year in pedestrian accidents while over 100 others suffer potentially serious injuries. In 2019, these accidents have been all too frequent. As of August, 11 pedestrians have died due to fatal collisions involving motor vehicles. 

As children head back to school, it is the perfect time to review some basic safety tips to keep them safe. Unfortunately, young people are at greater risk for pedestrian accidents and the injuries they suffer tend to be severe. These incidents often occur on their way to and from school. Parents can help reduce the risk by reviewing the following safety tips with them: 

  • When walking, use sidewalks at all times;
  • Pay close attention for driveways and other entrances/exits;
  • When crossing intersections, use designated crosswalks and wait for the crossing guard to signal;
  • Avoid running or skipping, particularly near school bus stops;
  • Always stand at least three feet back from the curb while waiting for the bus to approach;
  • Wait for the bus to stop before attempting to get on;
  • When exiting the bus, wait for the driver to signal to you before attempting to cross. 

Parents with young children should escort children as they walk and wait by the bus stop for them to get off. Older children can walk on their own but make sure they wear bright colors and avoid distractions such as throwing balls, using headphones, or looking at tablets. 

Keeping College Students Safe

In addition to the University of Portland, there are a wealth of other colleges located throughout the city. Students typically walk to classes and anywhere else they want to go, putting them at an increased risk for pedestrian accident injuries. Be alert for motorists enaged in reckless behaviors, such as speeding, running red lights, and driving under the influence. To prevent collisions, follow these tips: 

  • Avoid using earbuds while walking, which could drown out the sounds of screeching tires, horns, or other signs of trouble;
  • Pay attention to walk signals at intersections, even if others are crossing against them;
  • Wear bright, light colors, particularly when walking at night;
  • Avoid walking under the influence of alcohol or other substances.   

Let Us Help You Today

Pedestrian accidents cause injuries that impact every area of life, particularly for young people. At the Johnston Law Firm, we hold at fault drivers accountable. Call (503) 546-3167 or contact our Portland pedestrian accident attorneys online to schedule 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.