Oregon traffic deaths highlight dangers for pedestrians

Data showing a huge jump in the number of pedestrian deaths from Oregon car accidents made the news over the weekend, only to be reinforced by the death of a 21-year-old pedestrian Monday in an Oregon fatal car accident in Newberg.

The data cited by The Oregonian last Sunday was certainly eye-opening: an 80 percent jump in the number of pedestrians killed on Oregon’s roads this year compared to the same period in 2009. “The increase this year over last year is pretty alarming,” the paper quoted Oregon State Police spokesman Lt. Gregg Hastings saying. The article went on to cite Judith Yip, who coordinates the Oregon Pedestrian Safety Program. She noted that much of the increase can be attributed to pedestrians who “just don’t realize how invisible they are.”
Still, one has to wonder about incidents like the one that took place in Newberg a day after the Oregonian piece on pedestrian safety was published. According to a report, also carried in The Oregonian, the victim was attempting to cross State Route 219 in the late afternoon when he was struck by not one but two eastbound vehicles. According to the newspaper he died at the scene of the accident before a medical evacuation helicopter could arrive to take him to a hospital.

Pedestrians, of course, should always take care when crossing a road. Nevertheless, much of the responsibility for safety must always rest with drivers, who need to bear in mind the tremendous damage their cars and trucks can do to people on foot or traveling by bicycle. When drivers fail to exercise appropriate judgment the legal system has a responsibility to seek out the facts of each case in the broader interests of justice.

If you or a loved one have been injured in an Oregon car and pedestrian accident you owe it to yourself to speak with a Portland pedestrian injury attorney as soon as possible after the incident. Accountability and justice do not happen by themselves. They must be fought for by victims. Oregon’s car accident attorneys are here to help you win that fight.

The Oregonian: Oregon officials see dramatic increase in pedestrian deaths this year

The Oregonian: Pedestrian struck, killed by two vehicles while crossing Ore. 219 in Newberg