Oregon is a state that encourages walking – to work, to school – often in areas that share the roads with motor vehicles, bicycles, and light transit. Add Oregon’s rainy weather, distractions tempting drivers, or our increasingly crowded roads, and pedestrians can sustain serious injury or even death in the event of an accident.
Even a low-speed impact between a motor vehicle and a pedestrian can result in severe injuries or death. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, pedestrian accidents have accounted for a spike in total traffic deaths since 2007.
Oregon is not immune from this spike in traffic fatalities. The number of pedestrian deaths in Oregon has increased markedly, and the Portland Bureau of Transportation has worked to mitigate the growing issue, even installing flashing beacons at crosswalks on many busy streets. Even though pedestrians often have the legal right-of-way, too many end up in emergency rooms – or don’t survive – as a result of motor vehicle collisions.
Severe injuries often result when a pedestrian is struck by a motor vehicle. According to the National Institutes of Health, the most common injuries incurred by pedestrian crash victims are:
- Injury to upper or lower extremities
- Head injury
- Internal trauma