Pedestrian accidents in Portland have steadily increased over the past few years. This is despite the targeted efforts of law enforcement to apprehend reckless drivers who put pedestrians at risk and public safety improvements designed to improve traffic conditions. For residents, it is important to be aware of the dangers and to take the steps needed to protect yourself. The following highlights the three groups of people who are most at risk.
Portland Pedestrian Accidents Continue to Be Cause For Alarm
The City of Portland implemented its Vision Zero program in 2015. It was designed with the goal of reducing traffic accidents and completely eliminating fatalities. Overall, it has been moderately successful and has improved both traffic conditions and safety on some of the area’s most dangerous streets. However, 2019 saw a tragic uptick in fatal crashes and when it comes to overall pedestrian safety, improvements that have been made seem to have little effect.
Close to 20 people continue to be killed in pedestrian accidents each year while dozens of others suffer serious and potentially disabling personal injuries. For residents who enjoy walking, either for pleasure, exercise, or as a means of transportation, it is important to be aware of the safety issues involved.
Pedestrian Accidents: Those Most At Risk
Nationwide, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that pedestrian accidents impact hundreds of thousands of victims each year. With little to protect them in collisions with motorists, pedestrians are vulnerable and injuries suffered are often severe. On average, a pedestrian is killed roughly once every 1.5 hours. Those most at risk include:
- Children: Pedestrian accidents are a major threat to children under the age of 15. Little ones lack judgment and are more apt to run into the street chasing a ball, without checking for traffic first. Older children face risks when walking to school, visiting friends, or running errands.
- Older adults: People over the age of 65 account for nearly 20 percent of pedestrian deaths. Older adults may assume a driver will stop or underestimate the time it takes to cross the street. When they are hurt, injuries are more likely to be severe and can lead to a general decline in health which can hasten an early death.
- Pedestrians who are alcohol-impaired: While walking may seem preferable to getting behind the wheel if you have had too much to drink, the fact is walking while impaired significantly increases your pedestrian accident risks. In more than a third of all fatal pedestrian accidents, the victim had a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of 0.08 percent. Play it safe and use ridesharing to get home instead.
Contact Us Today for Help
When pedestrian accidents impact you or someone you love, the Johnston Law Firm, P.C. provides the trusted support and professional legal representation you need. To schedule a consultation, call (503) 546-3167 or contact our Portland pedestrian accident attorneys online today.