Portland Car Accident Rates Climb: Seeking Justice for Crash Victims

Portland Car Accident Rates Climb: Seeking Justice for Crash Victims
Portland Sees Alarming Increase in Car Crashes and Injuries in Recent Years
Portland Sees Alarming Increase in Car Crashes and Injuries in Recent Years

Portland, OR – New data from the Portland Crash Analysis & Reporting Unit reveals a concerning upward trend in motor vehicle crashes over the past year. In 2021, Portland experienced an 18.76% overall increase in crashes compared to the previous year, including a 20% rise in fatal crashes and a 22.67% increase in non-fatal injury crashes.

In raw numbers, Portland recorded 45,295 crashes in 2021. This included 552 deadly crashes and 23,729 crashes that resulted in non-fatal injuries. Additionally, 21,014 crashes resulted in property damage only. This translates to nearly 125 crashes per day on average in 2021.

More Crashes Leading to More Injuries and Fatalities

The significant rise in crashes has led to a corresponding increase in injuries and fatalities. In 2021, 599 people were killed in Portland traffic crashes, an 18.15% increase over 2020. The total number of injured individuals jumped by over 28% to 35,945.

Drivers accounted for the majority of fatalities and injuries, but vulnerable road users like pedestrians and bicyclists also saw high casualty counts. Eighty-eight pedestrians and 18 bicyclists were killed in crashes last year, with many more injured.

Errors Leading to Crashes

Driver errors were the leading cause of most crashes in Portland last year. The most common mistakes included:

  • Failing to avoid stopped or parked vehicles ahead
  • Failure to yield right-of-way
  • Driving too fast for the conditions
  • Inattention/distraction
  • Following too closely

For pedestrians, the top errors were failing to yield right-of-way and crossing between intersections rather than at crosswalks. Bicyclists most often failed to yield right-of-way or rode inattentively.

Young Drivers at High Risk

The data shows young drivers between the ages of 15-20 were involved in a disproportionate share of fatal and injury crashes compared to their share of drivers. This age group was involved in over 18% of such crashes despite making up a far smaller portion of total drivers.

Call for Action

The alarming rise in crashes and injuries on Portland’s streets presents a significant public safety issue. The data clarifies that more must be done to improve driver awareness and skills, enhance traffic law enforcement, redesign dangerous roads, and protect vulnerable users.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a motor vehicle crash, contact Beau Harlan, a personal injury lawyer in Portland, OR, at Harlan Law Firm. With decades of experience winning compensation for crash victims in Portland, they understand the impact these traumatic events have on victims’ lives. Work with a seasoned legal team to recover damages, hold negligent parties accountable, and help make the roadways safer for everyone.

About Harlan Law Firm

Harlan Law Firm is dedicated to representing victims of motor vehicle crashes in Portland, OR. With a strong track record of securing client compensation, the firm is committed to holding negligent parties accountable and advocating for safer roadways.

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