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What Are The Real Reasons Behind Pedestrian Accidents In Portland?

While Portland is one of the most pedestrian-friendly cities, at least once a month a pedestrian accident happens that results in serious personal injuries. The city has taken efforts to keep pedestrians safe while police crack down on dangerous driving behaviors, but these precautions seem to have little impact. What are the real reasons pedestrian accidents in Portland are so common?  

Surprising Facts About Portland Pedestrian Accidents

A March 2021 article in the Willamette Week looks at pedestrian accident statistics in Portland, the people involved, and how they happen. Based on traffic reports, they found some surprising facts:  

  • Jaywalking is risky and can also result in a traffic citation. Crosswalks and intersections are considered safer, but the fact is that as many as two-thirds of pedestrian accidents occur at these locations. 
  • Using cellphones to make calls, text, and post on social media while walking is blamed for increasing pedestrian accident risks. However, Oregon Walks reports there has not been a single pedestrian death in the state over the past several years that can be attributed to cell phone use, either on the part of the pedestrian or the driver.  
  • Young people are often portrayed as being inherently bad drivers due to their inexperience and general lack of maturity. While they do face greater car accident risks than other age groups, none of the pedestrian accidents that occurred between 2017 and 2019 involved a teen driver
  • Driving under the influence is responsible for close to 30 percent of all car crashes, but it accounts for less than 10 percent of Portland pedestrian accidents. 

The Most Common Causes Of Pedestrian Accidents In Portland

Statistics from the Portland Bureau of Transportation indicate that the city currently has an average of as many as 20 pedestrian accidents a year. While pedestrians represent less than 10 percent of all commuters and trips taken, they account for nearly a third of all traffic fatalities. If using cell phones and driving while impaired are not common causes, what is to blame for the high rate of pedestrian accidents in Portland?

In some cases, pedestrians may engage in risky behavior, such as not looking before stepping into the street, assuming drivers will stop at crosswalks or intersections, and not wearing light colors or reflective gear when walking at night. Even in these cases, one of the following dangerous driving behaviors is likely to blame: 

  • Aggressive driving, such as failing to yield and speeding up as lights change at intersections;
  • Distracted driving that does not involve cell phones, such as changing GPS or ration stations and eating or drinking while behind the wheel;
  • Running red lights and stop signs;
  • Speeding and going too fast for conditions. 

Let Us Help You Today

At the Johnston Law Firm P.C., we uncover the causes behind pedestrian accidents in Portland and help you get the compensation you need to recover when injuries happen. Call (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.