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Visibility a Major Factor in Pedestrian Accidents

Pedestrian accidents continue to plague the Portland area and also are increasing in number in major cities throughout the country as well. Many of us appreciate the advantages of walking either as a hobby, as a means of staying physically fit, or as an inexpensive and environmentally friendly form of transportation. However, it is vitally important to be aware of the potential risks and to take the steps needed to protect yourself. While law enforcement aims at apprehending reckless drivers and planning officials work to make city streets safer, taking the steps to increase your own visibility can help to prevent you and those you love from becoming victims in pedestrian accidents.  

Police Blame Poor Visibility in Fatal Portland Pedestrian Accident

According to an April 7, 2019 report by KATU News, a Portland man was the latest victim in yet another fatal pedestrian accident to plague the city. Shortly after midnight on Saturday night, police responded to a call on Southeast Powell Boulevard, underneath the Interstate 205 overpass. There they found the victim suffering from severe injuries. While they immediately began CPR, the man ended up passing away at the scene.

The driver of the vehicle involved stopped and was questioned by authorities. Police determined that alcohol use, speeding, and other reckless driving behaviors were not to blame. Instead, they say the accident was caused by poor visibility. Since the beginning of 2019, there have been nearly a half dozen other fatal pedestrian accidents that have occurred throughout the city.

Protecting Yourself Against Pedestrian Accidents

Despite the efforts of law enforcement and public safety officials, Portland continues to see yearly increases in the number of pedestrian accidents. According to reports by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), the state of Oregon ranks 18th in the nation in terms of the overall number of pedestrian fatalities that occur each year. While traffic accident rates in general have decreased by roughly 14 percent, pedestrian accidents have increased by nearly 30 percent.

Reckless driving behaviors such as distracted driving and driving under the influence significantly increase pedestrian safety risks, but poor city planning is also a factor. A lack of sidewalks and inadequate lighting makes walking more dangerous. The fact that nearly two-thirds of all pedestrian accidents occur at night indicates visibility is a significant factor. While Portland works to address safety issues, there are some steps pedestrians should take to protect themselves:

  • Wear bright, reflective colors when walking at night;
  • Carry a flashlight with you or use the flashlight feature on your phone to increase visibility;
  • Avoid walking on dark roads or in any area without sidewalks;
  • Be aware that headlights or street lamp glare can be a factor, making it harder for drivers to see you.  

Let Us Help You Today

At the Johnston Law Firm, we represent victims and their family members when pedestrian accidents occur. To find out how we can help you, call us at (503) 546-3167 or contact our Portland pedestrian accident attorneys online to request a consultation 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.