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Protests Combined With Phase 1 of Reopening Increase Pedestrian Accident Risks

By Marc A. Johnston, posted in Pedestrian Accidents on June 9, 2020

During the summer months, people spend more time outdoors walking and enjoying local festivals, fairs, and other types of activities. As a result, pedestrian accidents are more common at this time of year. Currently, things in Portland are still far from what anyone would consider normal. COVID-19 pandemic-related restrictions remain in place and protesters have taken over city streets. As a pedestrian, you need to be aware of the dangers and the steps you can take to protect yourself.  

Phase 1 of Reopening Coincides With Protests

Multnomah County residents have been dealing with coronavirus-related restrictions since late winter. As summer approaches, city officials are attempting to get things back to some level of normal. According to a recent news report from Oregon Live, a Phase 1 reopening plan was submitted to the governor’s office on June 5, with the intention of gradually lifting stay home orders on June 12. The order allows bars, restaurants, retail establishments, salons, gyms, and recreational facilities to reopen, provided they follow certain restrictions, most of which deal with sanitizing and maintaining social distancing. The maximum gathering size is limited to 25 people. 

Portland is the last city in the state to reopen and many residents are eager to begin Phase 1. Unfortunately, the timing coincides with nationwide protests over the death of George Floyd, a black man from Minneapolis who was killed in police custody. The incident and others like it have prompted people to take to the streets, challenging racism and calling for change. Unfortunately, major traffic gridlock and property damages that have resulted are impacting local residents and reopening efforts. 

Preventing Pedestrian Accidents

Summer events in Portland typically result in crowds of pedestrians on busy city streets. Under normal circumstances, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) warns that this can significantly increase pedestrian accident risks. The turbulent situation surrounding the pandemic and the recent protests makes the situation even more dangerous. 

While people are eager to get out and return to some of their usual summer activities, they are also on edge and more likely to be distracted. For drivers, this increases the likelihood of disregarding stop signs, crosswalks, and other traffic signals. For pedestrians, it makes it even more important to take certain precautions. To avoid pedestrian accident injuries, following these steps: 

  • Wear light, bright colors when going out;
  • Check Portland events calendars and be aware of activities going on in the city;
  • Check news and traffic reports so that you are aware of protests or other potential tie-ups;
  • Stay on sidewalks and cross only at designated intersections;
  • Pay attention to what is going on around you and avoid distractions, such as earbuds or texting;
  • Avoid large crowds and areas being blocked by police. 

Let Us Help You Today

Pedestrians are at risk during this difficult time. When injuries occur, the Johnston Law Firm P.C. provides the legal help you need. Reach out and call (503) 546-3167 or contact our Portland pedestrian accident attorneys online and request a consultation today.

Marc Johnston
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