Fatal Auto Accidents Continue to Climb in Portland Area

Like most cities across the country, Portland experienced an uptick in traffic-related fatalities in 2020. While fewer cars were on the road, impaired driving and speeding lead to riskier behaviors and more auto accidents. Reach out to a skilled personal injury attorney to learn more.

Throughout 2020, Portland experienced a significant number of traffic fatalities. Auto accidents involving other drivers, passengers, pedestrians, motorcyclists, and bicyclists occurred throughout the year, even as pandemic restrictions resulted in fewer vehicles on the road. As of the last day of 2020, Portland reported 54 auto accident-related deaths—the highest number since 1996. Even as educational campaigns like Vision Zero attempt to keep Oregon roadways safe, people still suffer serious and sometimes fatal auto accident injuries.

Why Fatal Car Accidents May Be on the Rise

The uptick in serious and fatal traffic collisions has occurred across the country, and many experts are looking at the role various pandemic-related restrictions may be playing in this rise. For instance, alcohol consumption increased during pandemic lockdowns, as people turned to alcohol to cope with feelings of stress and anxiety triggered by health, economic, and emotional concerns. Sleep issues, depression, and other mental health struggles may have also contributed to unsafe or inattentive driving behaviors, increasing the risk of crashes.

Using the Data to Inform Safer Driving Practices in Portland

So far, it appears that alcohol consumption and impaired driving played a role in the majority of the 54 auto accident fatalities in 2020. At least 23 of the incidents involved speeding as well. As many as 11 of those who lost their lives in a fatal crash did so by colliding with fixed objects, such as utility poles or parked vehicles. Efforts like Vision Zero have an ambitious goal to stop all traffic-related deaths by 2025, and they encourage collaboration among traffic law enforcement officers, infrastructure upgrades, and community education.

How a Portland Personal Injury Attorney Can Help

Coping with the aftermath of a severe auto accident injury can be overwhelming and stressful. As you focus on making your physical recovery, you must also determine how you’ll pay for the unanticipated medical costs, lost wages, and other expenses associated with your injuries. While it may seem tempting to act quickly and accept the first settlement offer you receive, doing so can prevent you from obtaining the full amount of compensation you need to rebuild your life. Instead, enlist the support of a trusted auto accident attorney to make sure you secure what you need to make a full recovery.


Reach out to the experienced and compassionate personal injury attorneys at Henderson Taylor Law Firm by calling our Vancouver office at (360) 737-1478 today.