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Winter Weather and Traffic Blamed for Spike in Car Accidents In Portland and Across State

Car accidents in Portland are complex events. Multiple factors can combine to make them more likely to happen. The latest reports indicate that winter weather and an abundance of visitors to the area over the holidays, despite ongoing concerns over COVID-19, led to a dramatic increase in the number of crashes and collisions. 

Report Shows Dramatic Increase In Crashes Compared To Prior Year Figures 

According to a December 28, 2021 Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB) news report, car accident rates over the recent holiday season increased dramatically over the prior year. 915 crashes and collisions were reported in Portland and across the state over the period of  December 23rd to the 28th. That is close to three times the amount in 2020 and almost four times the number of accidents in 2019.

Traffic safety experts are claiming that adverse weather is partly to blame. Snowstorms and wet, icy roads decrease visibility and tire traction, making collisions more likely to happen. Another factor is an increase in traffic. COVID kept many people at home during the 2020 holiday season. This past year, and despite ongoing concerns over increasing case counts, record numbers of people opted to travel, visiting family and friends and attending holiday-themed activities in Portland and throughout surrounding areas.  

Increased Car Accident Risks Continue In 2022

Local drivers will continue to face increased car accident risks throughout the early part of 2022 as weather conditions fluctuate in much the same way as they did the prior year. KATU News reports that while the region experienced unseasonably warm weather throughout January of 2021, blizzards that followed in February broke records for low temps and snow accumulations. Portland has already been pummeled by winter storms this season and more are expected in the coming weeks. 

In addition to dealing with winter weather, drivers can expect to experience continued heavy traffic conditions. The Multnomah County Department of Health is showing alarming increases in the number of COVID cases but most businesses and schools have made it a goal to remain open. Meanwhile, after staying home throughout most of last year, many employees are back on-site and the general public has largely resumed their normal activities. 

To reduce car accident risks now and in the months ahead, drivers are encouraged to follow a few simple safety tips. These include: 

  • Be aware of weather and traffic conditions prior to heading out;
  • Allow plenty of time to reach your destination;
  • Be alert and ready to respond to unexpected changes in traffic or other adverse conditions;
  • Be considerate of other motorists and avoid tailgating, improper passing, failing to yield, and other aggressive driving behaviors. 

Contact Our Portland Car Accident Attorneys 

When car accidents happen, the Johnston Law Firm P.C. is here to help victims and their families get the compensation they need to recover. If you or someone you love is injured in a crash, call (503) 546-3167 or contact our Portland car accident attorneys online and request a consultation.    


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.