Portland likes to celebrate its bike and pedestrian-friendly roadways, encouraging residents and visitors to explore the city while getting some exercise. Unfortunately, despite these efforts to improve pedestrian and cyclist safety, crashes, injuries, and fatalities still occur. According to the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT), injuries and fatalities from car, bike, and pedestrian collisions rose between 2019 and 2020. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons behind these rising numbers and what steps pedestrians and cyclists can take in the event of an accident in the Portland or Vancouver area.
2020 Was an “Unusual and Tragic” Year
Over the course of 2020, the pandemic dramatically impacted virtually every aspect of our lives. While fewer drivers were on the road, those who traveled by car were more likely to exceed speed limits or engage in reckless behaviors, such as driving under the influence. As a result, the number of serious car accidents causing injuries and fatalities rose across the country. According to PBOT, this increase in traffic deaths “extends a trend that began locally and nationally after 2010.” So, while this uptick in 2020 was alarming, it continues an already established upward trend.
Portland Communities of Color Were Particularly Impacted
Looking at the data on 2020 traffic fatalities, an alarming 65 percent of deaths occurred in low-income communities of color. Many of the incidents involved pedestrians attempting to cross poorly lit roads or streets lacking pedestrian crossings. Roadways in these areas tend to lack sufficient safety protections for pedestrians and bicyclists, putting them at greater risk of injury. As the city determines how to address this rise in fatalities, efforts are underway to focus on these areas of increased risk.
What Pedestrians and Cyclists Can Do When Injured
If you suffer an auto accident injury in the Portland or Vancouver area, you should immediately assess your injuries and call for medical attention. Even if your injuries do not warrant an ambulance, make sure to visit your doctor as soon as possible for a medical evaluation. The more you can document your injuries and the extent to which they’ve impacted your life, the stronger your injury claim may be. While you focus on your physical recovery, enlist the support and guidance of an experienced personal injury lawyer to handle settlement negotiations on your behalf. Your lawyer will work hard to secure the compensation you need to get your life back on track.
If you’ve suffered an injury as a pedestrian, cyclist, passenger, or driver in the Portland or Vancouver area, call the compassionate personal injury attorneys at Henderson Taylor Law Firm today at (360) 737-1478 to learn about how we can help you recover compensation.