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The Danger Zones for Pedestrians in Portland

Beautiful scenery, temperate climate, friendly neighborhoods and plenty of public spaces make Portland a great city in which to walk. Walking is environmentally friendly and good for your health, and Portlanders fill the streets each day, walking for enjoyment, running errands, and walking to work. While the city has made great strides in making Portland a secure and pleasant place for people to walk, it’s still up to pedestrians themselves to be proactive in keeping themselves safe.

Pedestrian accidents in Portland continue to claim lives and cause serious injuries. Protect yourself – and your loved ones – by knowing how to keep yourself safe while out walking.

Pedestrian Danger Zones

Pedestrian accidents cause serious injuries and claim hundreds of lives each year. According to the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), over 200 people a year are injured in pedestrian accidents, and often times, these injuries can be life-threatening. Studies show that a pedestrian hit by a car traveling 40 miles per hour has an 85% chance of being killed.

There are certain areas and situations in which pedestrians are at an increased risk of being involved in an accident. These pedestrian danger zones include:

  • Crosswalks: According to ODOT, roughly ¼ of pedestrian accidents occur in crosswalks. Under Oregon law, there’s a crosswalk at every intersection-marked or unmarked. Unfortunately, just because a crosswalk exists doesn’t mean pedestrians will use them, or that drivers will obey them.
  • Driveways and parking spaces: Drivers pulling out of driveways or reversing out of parking spaces or parking lots pose a risk to pedestrians in general, and children in particular, due to decreased visibility.
  • Near taverns and restaurants: Alcohol consumption results in errors in judgment, both on the part of pedestrians and drivers.

In addition to the above places, certain times can result in increased dangers to pedestrians. Night time, as well as days with rain, snow, ice, or other inclement weather can also contribute to pedestrian accidents.

Reduce Your Danger Of Being Involved In A Pedestrian Accident

The City of Portland offers a Pedestrian Safety Guide, with safety tips for pedestrians to help keep themselves safe while out walking. To prevent accidents, pedestrians are advised to:

  • Always use crosswalks when crossing streets. It help you stay safe – and it’s the law.
  • Make yourself visible. Wear bright, contrasting clothing when out walking.
  • Be alert. Don’t walk when under the influence of alcohol or drugs; even prescription medication can impair judgment.
  • Pay attention. Don’t use earbuds when walking, and limit cell phone use.
  • Use walkways or paths. When a sidewalk isn’t available, walk against traffic.

Contact Our Pedestrian Accident Attorney

If you’ve been injured as the result of a pedestrian accident, it’s important to consult with an experienced Portland attorney. At the Johnston Law Firm, our attorneys are experienced in handling pedestrian accidents and may be able to help you recover damages related to your injuries.

Call our office for a free case review; we’ll help you get the compensation you deserve.


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.