Spring means it will stay light out later but there are plenty of situations in which you are likely to want to ride your bike after dark. Bicycle accidents in Portland are always a concern, but your risks increase significantly at night. To reduce your chances of suffering serious personal injuries in crashes and collisions with motor vehicles, be aware of the dangers and take the steps needed to protect yourself.
Nighttime Bike Accident Responsible for First Fatality of 2020
A nighttime bicycle accident claimed the life of a local man recently. According to a February 2020 report by Bike Portland, the fatal crash happened shortly after midnight in Southwest Portland, at the corner of Vista Avenue and Southwest Park Place.
An unidentified bicyclist was riding through an intersection when he was struck by a motorist. The driver, who had the green light, was traveling at 20-30 miles per hour and claimed he did not see the bicyclist in time to avoid a collision. Police claim that a lack of lighting on the bike likely played a role. The driver of the vehicle was cooperative at the scene and not under the influence at the time of the crash. The bicyclist, who was also not wearing a helmet, suffered severe head injuries. He was taken to a local hospital and listed in critical condition but later died as a result.
The incident marks the first fatal bicycle accident in Portland for 2020. In general, the hours after dark are the most dangerous for bicyclists. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), reports that risks increase significantly between 6:00 p.m and 9:00 a.m. and that urban areas are the most likely places for bicycle accidents to occur.
Protect Yourself Against Nighttime Bicycle Accidents
For many bicyclists in Portland, riding at night is a necessity. The potential risks do not need to keep you off the road but they should motivate you to take some simple precautions. To prevent nighttime bicycle accidents and the serious injuries that can result, REI recommends the following tips:
- Use bike lights: Bike lights help you to see and help others to see you. All riders are encouraged to use a helmet, handlebar, and rear lights when biking at night.
- Increase your visibility: Wear light, bright colors at night and use reflective tape on your helmet and any backpacks or bags you carry.
- Maintain your bike: Check your bike for mechanical issues before heading out. Being stuck on the ride with a loose chain or flat tire increases your injury risks.
- Chart the safest route: Aim for roads that are well lighted, with bike lanes and crosswalks if possible.
Let Us Help You Today
Bicycle accident injuries have a tendency to be severe. At the Johnston Law Firm P.C., we help victims and their families get the compensation they need to recover. Call (503) 546-3167 or contact our Portland bicycle accident attorneys online to request a consultation today.