The Winter Solstice was on December 21, 2020. This represents a turning point when, after months of steadily increasing darkness, the sun slowly begins setting just a little later. Unfortunately, it will continue getting dark around dinner time until early in the spring, which in addition to impacting people’s moods creates serious hazards on the roads. Pedestrians are among the most vulnerable and the rate of pedestrian accidents in Portland is expected to continue climbing. During these next few months, take extra precautions when walking at night to reduce your injury risks.
The Dangers of Walking at Night
A recent fatal pedestrian accident in Portland highlights the dangers of walking after dark. According to a December 24, 2020 KOIN News report, a 41-year-old local man was killed after being struck by a vehicle while walking in the bike lane or shoulder of Northeast Halsey, near the intersection of NE 119th. The crash happened at roughly 8:30 p.m. Police have revealed few details about the case, other than stating that it represents the 57th traffic fatality in Portland this year.
Car accidents, in general, are more likely to occur after dark than at any other time of day and pedestrians are among the road users most at risk. Common problems associated with night time driving include:
Poor night vision: Many drivers have problems seeing after dark. Glare from dashboard displays, traffic signals, and other drivers’ headlights can easily prove blinding. Rain and foggy winter conditions only make matters worse.
Drowsy driving: Drivers at night are more likely to be tired, which can have serious impacts on driving abilities. In addition to the increased risk of falling asleep behind the wheel, vision, reflexes, and coordination are all affected.
Distracted driving: Whether they are coming home from work or school, running errands, or heading out for social activities with friends, drivers are more likely to be distracted at night. This increases their risk of not seeing pedestrians until it is too late.
Impaired driving: Nighttime, particularly on weekends and holidays, is the common time to encounter drunk and impaired drivers on the road. In addition to endangering themselves and other motorists, they put pedestrians at risk.
Protecting Yourself When Walking At Night
According to the National Safety Council (NSC), nearly two-thirds of all pedestrian accidents happen while walking at night. You can help protect yourself by taking a few precautions:
- Wear light, bright colors and consider carrying a flashlight;
- Stick to roads that have sidewalks and avoid heavily trafficked areas;
- Cross only at designated intersections and always look both ways before stepping into the road;
- Avoid distractions while walking and get a ride if you are under the influence.
Let Us Help You Today
At the Johnston Law Firm P.C., we help you hold at-fault drivers accountable when pedestrian accidents happen. Call (503) 546-3167 or contact our Portland pedestrian accident attorneys online and request a consultation today.