On behalf of Berkshire Ginsberg, LLC posted on Wednesday, November 7, 2012.
A 58-year-old man was watching his wife participate in the Portland Fall Classic rowing event recently when he crossed from one side of a bridge to the other for a better view below. He was struck down by a passing car, dying at the scene from head and chest injuries. With his tragic death on the Hawthorne Bridge, the number rose to 48 killed in pedestrian accidentson Oregon roadways this year. That matches the total for all of 2011, according to the Oregon Department of Transportation. Indeed, pedestrian deaths in Oregon are up 23 percent over the same period last year, according to ODOT officials. In the Hawthorne Bridge case, the driver of the car told police that the pedestrian simply appeared in front of his vehicle. The 70-year-old motorist said he applied the brakes only to have the car skid on the metal bridge decking. For the past decade, pedestrian deaths in Oregon have averaged about 50 each year. A decline in 2009 was reportedly due to a snowy winter. According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics, October, November and December are the deadliest months for pedestrians. Every year, about 40 percent of all pedestrian fatalities occur during this period. Officials give some basic safety tips: First and foremost, don’t assume cars know pedestrian rights. Look in both directions as you cross, keeping especially vigilant for turning vehicles. Give drivers time to stop before stepping into the street. Make eye contact. Drivers are required to yield the right of way to pedestrians crossing streets in marked and unmarked crosswalks. But even while in a clearly marked crosswalk, there is always the possibility that a distracted or negligent driver will fail to yield. Injured pedestrians or their families should also be aware of their rights under Oregon personal injury laws. Source: The Oregonian, “Oregon pedestrian deaths up 23 percent; Hawthorne Bridge fatal Sunday is 48th death statewide,” Stuart Tomlinson, Oct. 29, 2012