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Speed Racing Poses Threat To Motorists And Increases Portland Car Accident Risks

Speed racing is now regularly featured in popular movies and television shows. Set against a backdrop of pulsing music and the latest visual effects, viewers get an adrenaline rush watching drivers race through city streets. Crashes are inevitable, but those involved often walk away with barely a scratch. Unfortunately, this is not the case in real life. 

In Portland, speed racing is an increasingly common problem and often results in serious, potentially life-threatening personal injuries. In addition to impacting those directly involved, it can put innocent bystanders at risk. Our Portland car accident attorneys explain more about the problem and how to hold at-fault drivers accountable. 

Speed Racing To Blame For Car Accident In Portland

The Portland Police Bureau recently reported on a car accident that happened in February 2023, in the 5900 block of North Marine Drive. Two vehicles were involved in the crash, one of which burst into flames shortly after impact. The two drivers and a passenger were taken to a local hospital with life-threatening injuries. One of the drivers later died as a result of their injuries. Due to the severity of the accident, the Major crash Team was called in to investigate. 

Based on the evidence gathered at the scene and in the aftermath, Portland’s Traffic Investigations Unit (TIU) determined speed racing was the cause. Unfortunately, it has become increasingly common on city streets, particularly as the practice is glamorized in movies, such as the Fast and Furious franchise, on television shows, and among celebrities. 

Speed racing is considered a popular stunt among people of all ages, despite the high-profile deaths of many speed racing drivers over the years, ranging from James Dean to Paul Walker. Unfortunately, in addition to posing serious hazards to those directly involved, it can also put innocent passersby at risk. 

Laws Prohibited Speed Racing In Portland

Under the Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS 811.125) speed racing of any type is prohibited on local roads and highways in Portland and throughout the state. This includes:  

  • Speed competitions or contests;
  • Acceleration contests or challenges;
  • Any exhibition of speed or acceleration;
  • Tests of physical endurance;
  • The making or breaking of speed records;
  • Drag races or any type of activity in which the goal is to outdistance other vehicles.

Drivers, organizers, promoters, or others associated with these types of activities can all face serious criminal charges, which include heavy fines and a potentially lengthy jail sentence. They could also face civil liability and be made to pay for damages that innocent victims or their families suffer as a result of their behavior. 

Holding Speed Racers Accountable 

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), speeding is one of the most common causes of motor vehicle accidents in the country. In addition to significantly increasing the odds of a crash or collision, it also increases the risks for severe and potentially life-threatening personal injuries. 

Due to the nature of speed racing and the fact that it often takes place on public streets, it poses serious risks to anyone in the area. When other motorists, motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians suffer personal injuries as a result, they have the right to hold those at fault accountable in a claim. 

Many street racers are likely to be uninsured. Even if they have coverage, their insurer is likely to claim their behavior violates coverage terms. In most cases, filing a personal injury lawsuit through the Multnomah County Civil Court is likely to be the best course of action. This allows you to hold speed racers and any other parties responsible for losses you suffer while getting additional amounts not otherwise available through insurance. This includes: 

  • Payment of property damages;
  • Coverage of all medical costs;
  • Reimbursement for lost wages and future losses in income or earnings;
  • Funeral and burial costs, in the event injuries prove fatal;
  • Additional amounts for pain, suffering, lost enjoyment in life, and loss of companionship. 

You may also be entitled to punitive damages, which is an additional amount that punishes speed racers for particularly willful and dangerous behavior.  

Request A Consultation With Our Portland Car Accident Attorneys

Speed racing is inherently dangerous and can cause potentially life-threatening personal injuries to innocent bystanders.  At the Johnston Law Firm, we help you hold those at fault accountable. To get the compensation you are entitled to in a claim, call (503) 546-3167 or contact our office online and request a consultation with our Portland car accident attorneys 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.