How to Prevent Pedestrian Accidents as A Portland Driver

04/29/22

Pedestrians and drivers often share the road in Portland. To protect both parties from harm, Oregon imposes traffic laws that dictate right-of-way rules and other considerations to control the flow of foot and motor vehicle traffic.

Unfortunately, these laws cannot prevent driver negligence. Only motorists can control their behavior. As a Portland driver, there are many actions that you can take to prevent pedestrian accidents and keep everyone safe on the road.

#1: Avoid Distractions

Distracted driving involves anything that takes your mind, eyes, or hands away from the act of driving. These distractions can be more dangerous than we believe; according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted driving killed 3,142 people in 2020 alone.

Pedestrians are especially at risk for injury from distracted drivers. When you are on the road, put away all potential distractions and remain vigilant. 

#2: Practice Defensive Driving

Pedestrian collisions can occur due to unexpected events that drivers are not prepared to respond to. Practicing defensive driving can help you remain vigilant and avoid collisions in the case of an unexpected event.

Adopting a pedestrian-responsible mindset can also help, especially in a walkable city like Portland. Remember, all drivers have a duty to watch out for pedestrians. Always pay attention to people who are walking on or near the road.

#3: Be Cautious of Children

Many victims of pedestrian accidents are children. Kids do not always follow traffic rules and can be reckless in the street. As a result, they could run into the road without warning, leading to a collision.

Be cautious when driving by schools, in residential areas, or near parks, playgrounds, and other child-friendly locations. Whenever you see a stopped school bus, never pass the vehicle and wait until the bus leaves the area.

#4: Follow the Speed Limit

Speed limits are in place for a reason. Drivers who go over the speed limit have less time to react to unexpected events, like a pedestrian suddenly walking into the street. Without adequate reaction time, serious accidents can occur.

When driving on Portland roads, always follow the speed limit. You should especially pay attention to the speed limit while driving in pedestrian-heavy areas, like school zones or public parks. 

#5: Always Look Before You Back Up

Many pedestrian accidents occur when drivers are backing out of parking spots, driveways, alleys, and other exits. Drivers can fail to see a pedestrian crossing behind them and collide into him or her.

Whenever you are backing up, always check behind you. Look at all of your mirrors and turn your head to physically check your surroundings. Make sure that no pedestrians are in the area or about to cross behind you. Be especially cautious of children.

Speak to a Portland Pedestrian Accident Attorney

Accidents can happen anywhere, including in Portland. If you are injured while walking, you may be eligible for financial compensation through an insurance claim or lawsuit. In these situations, it is important to consult with a Portland pedestrian accident lawyer who can represent your case.

An attorney can guide you through each stage of the claims process and fight for your right to maximum recovery. After seeking medical care, contact a pedestrian accident lawyer to plan your next steps.