To what extent is a collision an accident?

Portland bicycle accident attorney

We all know why crashes occur in Portland. Drivers distracted by cellphones. Drivers under the influence of alcohol and drugs. Drivers speeding, weaving through traffic, tailgating, and attempting risky maneuvers. Some drivers even knowingly get behind the wheel when they are at risk of falling asleep.

These actions are not accidents. They are consequences of decisions some drivers make that often lead to serious and fatal crashes. When media outlets report crashes involving pedestrians and bicyclists, the language often insinuates that driver error was only a factor to an extent, however.

In fact, some safety advocates blame subtle media reporting for the lack of public outcry. The term “accident” often mitigates the meaning of human error, and thus, contributes to a culture of inevitability rather than preventability.

A study IDs how media reporting shapes our driving culture

The concerns of safety advocates are reinforced in a 2019 study conducted by researchers at Rutgers University, Arizona State University, and Texas A&M University. The researchers collected more than 4,000 news articles pertaining to pedestrian and bicyclist crashes.

The study authors coined the term “vulnerable road users” (VRUs) in regard to pedestrians and bicyclists. The purpose of the study was to identify how language can subtly apportion fault in crashes and convey them as either preventable or inevitable.

After analyzing 200 news articles, the term “accident” was found in:

  • 47 percent of body text sentences
  • 11 percent of titles

Most titles were found to use sentence types such as “a VRU was hit by a car” or just “a VRU was hit.” The most common body text sentence types identified in the study include: “a VRU was hit by a car,” “a VRU was hit,” and “a car hit a VRU.”

Sentence types such as “a driver hit a VRU” or “a VRU was hit by a driver” were seldom used. Researchers also found that poorly designed road infrastructure was rarely cited when reporting crashes involving VRUs.

A shift in reporting crashes

In order to better address VRU crashes as a public safety issue, the study authors have urged journalists to take a slightly different approach to reporting crashes.

“Coverage almost always treats crashes as isolated incidents, obscuring the public health nature of the problem. This pattern of coverage likely contributes to the limited public outcry about pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities,” said the study. “Journalists can counteract these patterns by subtly altering their coverage. Planners can assist these efforts by making their expertise readily available to journalists. These simple changes would help the public identify links between seemingly isolated events and increase public pressure to reduce road deaths.”

Our driving culture needs an overhaul. Drivers who knowingly endanger other road users should be held accountable when they cause someone’s injury or death. That’s why for more than three decades, the Portland attorneys at Zbinden & Curtis have devoted themselves to helping injured pedestrians and bicyclists pursue justice.

If you were hurt in a crash with a negligent driver, you may be entitled to compensation. To learn how, contact us online and schedule your free case evaluation today.

Whay Was 2019 The Worst Year Since 1997 for Portland Traffic Fatalities?

Portland auto accident attorney

Distracted driving, reckless driving, drunk driving, and other factors continue to seriously injure and kill people on Portland roads. Why was this past year particularly bad?

One crash victim, who was on a motor scooter, became the 37th person to be killed on Portland streets in 2019. After the driver of an SUV made a negligent left turn, crashing into her head-on, she was taken to a nearby hospital, but succumbed to her injuries while undergoing surgery. A relative of the crash victim described her has being the “safest person in the scooter club.”

The fatal crash happened late in August, but is still under investigation.

How many more lives will be lost?

For the remainder of 2019, another dozen traffic fatalities occurred across Portland — making it the city’s most fatal year since 1997. With only days away from the new year, the death toll for this year is at 48. This comes after the city saw a decline in traffic fatalities in 2018, when the city began seeing the results of its Vision Zero campaign.

“Our hope is that it’s an anomaly,” said Bureau Director Chris Warner. “But we are making a lot of investments.”

Warner also gets around on a motorized scooter and regularly scans the city’s crash sites to see what could be done to prevent further fatalities.

“It’s just a daily reminder that our work never stops,” he said.

In 2020, city officials plan on making infrastructural changes to wide, hazardous streets in some areas. To better protect motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists, the city will add center medians, pedestrian crossing beacons, and protected bike lanes. In addition, they will make changes to reduce the number of dangerous left-turns.

Portland’s transportation department — who is notified by investigators when a traffic fatality occurs — has been ordered to temporarily place electronic message boards near the site of each fatal crash to capture the attention of all road users. Road design flaws and engineering defects are noted at the site of a fatal crash. Transportation officials also look for crash trends dating back 5-10 years in high-risk areas.

Improvements have been made, but more work needs to be done

So far, the city has reduced its speed limits on certain streets to 20 mph, and on dangerous high-speed roadways to 40 mph. Safety advocates say that more needs to be done, and it shows in the number of traffic fatalities reported each year. While the numbers fluctuate, Portland has been on an upward decline from less than 20 in 2008 to 48 in 2019. There have been significant dips in road deaths in 2014 (less than 25) and 2018 (less than 35).

If you were hurt in a crash, or lost a loved one, because of a motorist’s reckless behavior, don’t hesitate to take action. You are well within your rights to pursue a car accident claim and recover all economic and non-economic damages owed to you.

The Portland attorneys at Zbinden & Curtis, Attorneys At Law can help you through the process. For more than three decades, we have dedicated ourselves to fighting for the rights of crash victims in the Portland area. To find out what we can do for you, contact us online.

Drunk Driving Crashes Will Increase From Thanksgiving Eve to New Year’s Day

Portland auto accident attorney

It’s known as the biggest drinking day of the year, Blackout Wednesday. Some people refer to it as “Thanksgiving Eve” or “Drinksgiving.” It’s the day that many Portland-area residents clock out of work early and kick off the holiday season.

Blackout Wednesday is a chance for old-time friends to go out to bars and pubs before spending the holiday with family. Of course, it usually involves heavy drinking that can spill over onto Portland roadways. Research concludes that on Blackout Wednesday, beer sales spike by 270 percent and liquor sales by 114 percent.

According to statistics released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 800 people were killed on U.S. roads during the Thanksgiving period from 2012-2016. The Thanksgiving period runs from 6 p.m. Wednesday to 5:59 a.m. Monday.

The danger still persists after Thanksgiving Day

So the Thanksgiving period has passed. If you think the elevated drunk driving risk is behind us, think again. Throughout the entire month of December, people still tend to drink more than usual. In fact, drinking is often an integral part of many family gatherings, holiday work parties, and other holiday celebrations.

According to Alcohol.org, it’s quite common for adults to drink during the holiday season. For some, it adds social value to holiday get-togethers. For others, it’s a mechanism to cope with the holiday stress of shopping, planning, preparing, and traveling.

When drinking becomes a threat to other drivers on the road

Holiday drinking, however, becomes a threat to public safety when someone feels confident enough to get behind the wheel. No matter how sharp someone’s driving skills may be when they’re sober, it’s nearly impossible to maintain control behind the wheel while impaired by alcohol.

It doesn’t take much alcohol consumption to experience some level of impairment. According to an article in verywellmind, impairment can start at a BAC level as low as 0.02 percent. While it’s perfectly legal to operate a motor vehicle, drivers may experience some relaxation and minor loss of judgment. When combined with distracted driving, drowsiness, or recklessness, a BAC level of 0.02 percent can contribute to the likelihood of a serious crash.

At a BAC level of 0.05 percent, a driver’s impairment may become more profound. This includes:

  • Loss of small muscle control
  • Impaired ability to focus eye quickly
  • Impaired judgment
  • Decline in alertness and attentiveness

Currently, the BAC limit in Oregon is 0.08 percent. At this level, drivers can be pulled over and arrested. While police will be out in full force looking for drunk drivers, many of them will, unfortunately, go unnoticed. Some may make it home safely, but others will cause someone’s injury or death on the road. The risk isn’t worth taking.

If you or a loved one is hurt in a crash this holiday season, it’s important that you take legal action. The attorneys at Zbinden & Curtis see the devastation drunk driving causes. A fun and joyful holiday celebration can quickly turn into a catastrophe.

That’s why we’re dedicated to helping crash victims and their families in the pursuit of justice. We’ll fight to hold negligent drivers accountable and work tirelessly to maximize your compensation. To schedule your free case evaluation with our legal team, contact us online.

Too many drivers are becoming too comfortable in their ability to drive while distracted

Portland auto accident attorney

Distracted driving, sadly, is becoming the new normal on Portland roads. It seems like everywhere you look, you see drivers engaged in a slew of activities other than driving.

The truth is, nobody has the ability to safely drive distracted. Yet so many drivers are confident in their ability to do so. For some drivers, distraction has become so habitual that they feel comfortable picking up their phone or multitasking behind the wheel without any safety concerns.

How prevalent is distracted driving in Oregon?

The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) defines distracted driving as “when a driver diverts attention to something not related to driving that uses the driver’s eyes, ears or hands.”

ODOT also identifies four types of distracted driving. In most cases, more than one of these is involved in distraction:

  • Visual — Taking your eyes off the road to look elsewhere
  • Auditory — Listening to loud music or other sounds not related to driving
  • Manual — Taking your hands off the wheel
  • Cognitive — Daydreaming or taking your mind off of driving

From 2013-2017, distracted driving was a factor in more than 12,000 fatal and injury crashes across the state of Oregon. In approximately 1,089 crashes, a driver involved in the accident was found to have been using a cellphone.

In order to curb distracted driving in Oregon, a law was passed banning the use of cellphones and handheld devices behind the wheel. While this may help cut down on crashes caused by cellphone use, drivers often find other ways to get distracted — and it doesn’t always involve handheld devices.

What other forms of distraction do drivers engage in?

Let’s start with built-in infotainment technology, which affords drivers the luxury of apps, navigation, music streaming and communication built into their dashboard. It now comes standard on many new vehicles.

Infotainment technology can be especially dangerous because it gives motorists a false sense that they can safely use it while driving. Just like cellphones, however, the use of infotainment systems requires drivers to take their hands off the wheel, eyes off the road, and mind off driving to perform brief tasks. Something as brief as switching a song on a music streaming app can cause enough distraction to result in a serious crash.

Drivers who are running late for work or juggling several other obligations may find themselves multitasking behind the wheel. This could include eating and drinking, filling out paperwork, grooming, and taking care of personal hygiene. Some drivers have even been seen engaging in egregious activities, like reading a book or exercising while driving.

If you or a loved one was hurt in a crash because another driver was focused on a task other than driving, you have legal rights that must be upheld. That’s why you should get an experienced Portland car accident attorney on your side who knows how to hold distracted drivers accountable and take on stubborn insurance companies.

Set up your free consultation with Zbinden & Curtis, Attorneys At Law today. Contact us online to get started.

Portland attorneys weigh in on the best ideas to prevent drowsy driving accidents

Portland auto accident attorneyBeing sleep deprived or drowsy behind the wheel can have the same effect as being impaired by drugs or alcohol. Even when drivers don’t actually fall asleep at the wheel, drowsy driving still impacts reaction time, attentiveness, and decision-making abilities.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drowsy driving causes an estimated 91,000 crashes each year — resulting in nearly 800 fatalities and 50,000 injuries.

The reported numbers of drowsy driving crashes, however, may not be as accurate as we think. Drowsy driving crashes often lack physical or traceable evidence. In addition, police aren’t trained to determine if a driver was drowsy behind the wheel at the time of a crash.

Federal statistics previously concluded that drowsy driving is a factor in 1-2 percent of all crashes, but a recent study using in-vehicle dash cams to capture eye closure determined that drowsy driving was a factor in roughly 10 percent of crashes.

Who is at risk of drowsy driving?

Anyone can get tired behind the wheel but certain populations are especially at risk. These include:

  • Drivers under age 25: According to the National Safety Council, drivers under age 25 are involved in about 50 percent of drowsy driving crashes.
  • People with undiagnosed or untreated sleep disorders: Common sleep disorders include insomnia, sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome (RLS), and narcolepsy. If untreated, these conditions can contribute to a drowsy driving crash.
  • Shift workers: People who work overnight or rotating shifts account for roughly 15 percent of the U.S. workforce. This creates conflict with the body’s biological clock (circadian rhythm), which can put shift workers at risk of nodding off behind the wheel.
  • Commercial truck drivers: Truckers often spend long hours on the road. Even with the federal hours-of-service regulations in place, inadequate sleep can put a truck driver at risk of causing a serious crash.
  • Business travelers: Those who travel overseas or cross-country for business often experience jet lag — an adjustment to the change in time zones.
  • Parents of young children: Many parents of infants find themselves waking up frequently for feeding and general care. Physicians say that parents of newborns will likely lose about two hours of sleep each night until a child reaches five months old.

“Over one-fifth of all fatal crashes involve driver drowsiness and just missing two hours of sleep can quadruple a driver’s crash risk,” said Amy Stracke, managing director of traffic safety advocacy for the American Automobile Association.

In order to mitigate the risk of drowsy driving, the authors of a Sleep Review Mag article partnered with the New York State Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee to launch stopdrowsydriving.org, an interactive and educational website. In addition, they launched a social media campaign to encourage people to visit the site and take a sleepiness quiz to determine the likeliness of falling asleep while driving.

What are your legal options?

Unfortunately, sleep deprivation is part of our culture. People who juggle jobs, families, money, health, and hobbies may sacrifice a few hours of sleep to fit everything in.

The car accident attorneys at Zbinden & Curtis, Attorneys At Law, have seen the devastation caused by drowsy driving. If you or a loved one was injured in a crash with someone who fell asleep behind the wheel, our legal team will get to the bottom of it. Even without hard evidence of drowsy driving, the evidence we gather from your crash may help build a strong claim against the at-fault driver and his or her insurance company.

To find out how we can help, contact us today and set up your free case evaluation.

The Idaho Stop may soon be legal in Oregon. If you’re a bicyclist, here’s what you should know!

Portland bicycle accident attorneyEver hear of the “Idaho Stop?” If you’re an avid bicyclist in Portland, the term may ring a bell. Bicycle safety advocates have been pushing it for the past 15 years.

If you’re not familiar with the term, it allows bicyclists to treat stop signs and red lights as yield signs, and may soon become the law in Oregon. The bill was initially sponsored by State Rep. Barbara Smith Warner in order to address bicycle usability and safety concerns associated with frequent stopping and starting.

The bill recently passed the state legislature and is now awaiting signature from Governor Kate Brown. If signed into law, Oregon will become the fourth state to legalize the Idaho Stop, along with Idaho, Delaware, and Arkansas.

Bicycle safety advocates point to the 14 percent drop in bicyclist injuries in Idaho after implementing the Idaho Stop in 1982. Additional research concluded that cities throughout Idaho are 30 percent safer for bicyclists in comparison to most other cities.

The Idaho Stop explained

Historically, bicyclists in Oregon were required to follow the same traffic guidelines as motorists – coming to a complete stop at red lights and stop signs and waiting until they are legally allowed to proceed.

The Idaho Stop simply allows bicyclists to slow down when approaching an intersection and proceed if there is no traffic crossing. Bicyclists would only be required to stop and yield when vehicles or other bicyclists are approaching an intersection.

In a YouTube video, videographer Spencer Boomhower explains that allowing bicyclists to preserve their momentum may mean fewer risks for them at intersections.

A step in the right direction

If the Idaho Stop is signed into law in Oregon, it will be a major milestone for bicycle safety, but more needs to done to protect bicyclists.

First, drivers must acknowledge that bicyclists have just as much right to access the roadways as they do. Oregon law classifies bicycles as vehicles. Thus, bicyclists are allowed to ride with the rest of traffic, as long as they remain on the right side of the road.

Whether you’re a bicyclist or motorist, it’s best to refer to the 2016-2017 Oregon Bicyclist Manual in order to better understand the state laws pertianing to bicycles.

Most importantly, drivers have a duty to keep their attention on the road and watch out for bicyclists, pedestrians, and motorcyclists.

If you or a loved one was injured in a bicycle accident because a driver failed to show regard for your safety, get an experienced attorney at Zbinden & Curtis, Attorneys At Law on your side.

We proudly serve injured bicyclists throughout the greater Portland area. Contact us today to set up your free case evaluation.

Portland attorneys weigh in on dangerous open recalls on Uber and Lyft cars

Portland auto accident attorneyIn recent years, rideshare services have grown in popularity throughout Portland and across the country. Many residents of Portland find the services offered by Uber and Lyft to be more convenient than conventional taxi services.

But how well regulated is the ride-share industry? How safe are the cars?

Consumer Reports recently reviewed data collected from New York City and Seattle that found roughly 1 in 6 ride-share cars used by Uber and Lyft have unaddressed safety defects.

William Wallace, a Consumer Reports safety policy advocate, knows how this issue can put rideshare users at risk and hurt consumer trust.

“Uber’s website says people can ‘ride with confidence,’ while Lyft promises ‘peace of mind,’ yet both companies fail to ensure that rideshare cars are free from safety defects that could put passengers at risk,” he said.

ID’ing hazardous rideshare cars

Consumer Reports investigated this matter by reviewing the safety records for roughly 94,000 cars in rideshare operation throughout New York City, King County, and Washington State.

Out of the vehicles identified, approximately 15,175 (16.2%) were found to have one or more open safety recalls. Twenty-five of those cars were found to have at least five unaddressed recalls.

Consumer Reports identified open recalls by running the vehicle identification numbers (VINs) on all rideshare cars through an app developed by Carfax.

Some of the defects found include, but were not limited to:

  • Dangerous Takata airbags that could injure or kill drivers or front-passengers. Defective Takata airbags are responsible for 24 fatalities worldwide, including 16 in the United States. Approximately 1,274 of the vehicles cited in the review are equipped with these airbags.
  • Defects in the engine that could cause a car to stall
  • Defects that could cause a fire

While Uber and Lyft are taking minimal actions to address safety recalls, Consumer Reports states that they may not be doing enough. In turn, this could potentially put rideshare users in danger.

In many cities, Uber and Lyft only require that the cars used with their service be legally registered and are no more than 10-15 years old.

Uber and Lyft reportedly address this issue by encouraging drivers to have open recalls fixed. In addition, both companies claim to block the use of any cars with dangerous open recalls with “DO NOT DRIVE” warnings from either the manufacturer or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

According to Consumer Reports, those vehicles only account for a small fraction of rideshare cars with open recalls.

What to do if you’ve been injured in a crash with a rideshare car

If you or a loved one was hurt in a crash involving a rideshare car, speak to an experienced Portland car accident attorney to find out which legal options are available to you.

The attorneys at Zbinden & Curtis Attorneys at Law have over 30 years of experience representing injured motorists, bicyclists, pedestrians, and other road users.

We’ll find out who was responsible for your crash and fight to hold them accountable. Contact us today to schedule your free case evaluation.

Our lawyers offer the best ideas on how drivers can share the road

Portland auto accident attorneyDrivers have a legal and moral responsibility to safely share the road with bicyclists, pedestrians and motorcyclists, and failure to do so can be deadly.

Here is how the death toll broke down in 2017, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:

  • 783 bicyclists
  • 5,977 pedestrians
  • 5,172 motorcyclists

While bicyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians have legal rights to the road, they also are at greater risk because they are smaller, less visible and less protected in the event of an accident.

Sharing the blame

Bicyclists and motorcyclists have responsibilities, too. They must obey signs and signals. They should always ride defensively, assuming drivers cannot see them. In the case of bicyclists, they should use bike lanes when they are available and avoid riding on sidewalks.

In addition to following the rules of the road, pedestrians need to employ common sense. This means, in the absence of a sidewalk, walking while facing traffic and as far from cars as possible. They should always cross at crosswalks when they are available, and at well-lit places when crosswalks are not available.

The Oregon Department of Transportation offers the following top driver errors:

  • Failing to avoid a stopped or parked car
  • Running off the road
  • Failing to maintain lane
  • Failing to yield the right-of-way
  • Following too closely
  • Driving too fast for conditions (not exceeding posted speed)
  • Inattention
  • Left turn in front of on-coming traffic
  • Failing to decrease speed for a slower vehicle
  • Careless driving

The department did not offer a breakdown for motorcyclists.

Share the burden of your case

If you’ve been the victim of a personal injury accident as a pedestrian, bicyclist or motorcyclist, you almost certainly are suffering from major injuries. You may be unable to work for an extended period, meaning you cannot provide for your family or pay your bills, which now include major medical expenses. An insurance company, aware of your desperation, may be pressuring you into accepting a financial settlement that is tempting yet fails to meet either your needs or what you deserve.

Don’t tackle your problems alone. The personal injury lawyers at Zbinden & Curtis have more than 30 years of combined experience handling cases just like yours in Oregon and Washington. Based in Portland, Oregon, they will thoroughly investigate your accident, interview witnesses, review police and medical reports, and take whatever other steps are necessary to secure justice for you and your family. Just as importantly, they will treat you with respect and compassion. Contact them today for a free case consultation.

Study: Speed limit boost could mean more Portland traffic deaths

Portland auto accident attorneyFewer people would die if states stopped raising highway speed limits, according to Consumer Reports.

Oregon legislators are considering a bill that would let transportation officials in Portland, instead of the Oregon Department of Transportation, set speed limits for the city.

Nearly 37,000 more people died on highways in the past quarter century after speed limits rose, than would have been the case had the 55 mph limit been maintained nationwide.

The Consumer Reports story cited a study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, an insurance-industry funded group.

The study examined annual traffic deaths from 1993-2017. The study accounted for such factors as the percentage of young drivers on the road, seat belt use and unemployment.

Among findings in the study was that an additional 36,760 people were killed on highways in that 25-year period than would have been expected if speed limits had stayed at 55 mph nationwide.

States increase speed limits

The 55-mph speed limit ceased being the nationwide standard in 1995. Since then, 41 states have increased highway speed limits to least 70 mph and seven states have upped the limit to 80 mph.

Speed remains a significant reason for increased highway traffic deaths, despite vehicle safety advances, like automatic emergency braking.

Road deaths are lower overall than in 1993, which is two years before the federal government abolished the nationwide 55 mph speed limit. The study concluded, however, that highway fatalities would have been lower over the past 25 years had speed limits stayed the same.

Supporters say permission to drive faster saves time. Opponents say time gained by higher speeds is nullified by additional highway deaths.

In Oregon, House Bill 2702 would authorize the city of Portland to designate speed on highways over which the city has jurisdiction. The bill is in the Joint Committee on Transportation.

Oregon’s state transportation department said it is not taking a position on the legislation, but it is comfortable with the proposal, according to oregonlive.com.

Increasing highway speed limits continues to be the plan in other states, as well, according to online trucking resource CDL Life News:

  • Indiana lawmakers are considering a bill to eliminate the lower speed limit for trucks of over 26,000 pounds. The bill would let trucks go 70 mph, the current peak allowed for cars, instead of the current 65 mph.
  • Minnesota has increased speed limits from 55 mph to 60 mph on over 5,000 miles of state highways.
  • In Iowa the state legislature is considering a bill to increase interstate speed limits to 75 mph from 70 mph.
  • California legislators are considering a bill that would increase the speed limit for trucks in rural areas to 65 mph. Currently, passenger vehicles are permitted a speed limit of 65 mph or 70 mph on roads where the speed limit for trucks is 55 mph.
  • In Missouri, the speed limit would increase to 75 mph from 70 mph on rural interstates and freeways under a bill that legislators are considering.
  • North Dakota lawmakers are discussing a proposal to increase speed limits to 80 mph or 75 mph on some highways compared to the current 75 mph and 70 mph.
  • Oklahoma has increased the speed limit on the Oklahoma Turnpike to 80 mph from 75 mph.

Contact Zbinden & Curtis Attorneys At Law today for help with cases where an accident may have been caused by speeding, or any other type of car accidents, truck accident or personal injury cases.

Oregon Attorney Discusses the Dangers of Motorcycle Lane Splitting

Portland motorcycle accident attorneyA new motorcycle lane-splitting bill, House Bill 2314, has picked up speed with Oregon lawmakers. Support for the bill was garnered amid a 2015 study conducted by researchers from the University of California-Berkeley.

The study concluded that motorcyclists could safely ride between lanes on highways with speed limits of 50 mph or more – as long as they don’t exceed the speed of parallel traffic by more than 15 mph. In addition, bi-partisan supporters suggest that lane-splitting increase road safety and reduce traffic congestion.

Currently, California is the only state that allows lane-splitting. If HB2314 becomes law, it would allow motorcyclists to travel between lanes only when traffic slows down below 10 mph on roads with speed limits more than 50 mph. In addition, motorcyclists would only be allowed to travel 10 mph faster than traffic.

Similar bills were proposed in 2015 and 2017. Both bills, which were sponsored by only six lawmakers, died in House committee.

Opposition to the bill

According to opponents, the law would be “unenforceable” and could potentially result in the following problems:

  • Motorcyclists speeding through traffic
  • Rear-end collisions
  • Lane-departure accidents when motor vehicles change lanes

Dylan Rivera, a Portland Bureau of Transportation spokesman, cites a rise in motorcycle accidents over the past few years. In 2018 alone, approximately 77 motorcyclists lost their lives throughout the state of Oregon. In Portland, roughly a quarter of the 34 road deaths involved motorcyclists.

“If lane-splitting becomes legal on state highways, we are concerned that it would spill over to city streets – especially since the bill does not include any way to educate the public about this change,” said Rivera.

Troy Costales, Oregon Department of Transportation safety administrator, also showed opposition to the bill, citing statewide crash data between 2015-2017. Out of 3,081 statewide motorcycle accidents, approximately 2,610 resulted in injuries and 168 resulted in death. In addition, 12 of the motorcycle deaths were caused by rear-end collisions – nine of which involved motorcycles striking vehicles from behind.

Your legal options in a motorcycle crash

Motorcycle accidents are a serious matter. With limited protection, motorcyclists often sustain severe and life-threatening injuries – primarily due to the reckless and inattentive actions of motor vehicle drivers.

In the event of a motorcycle accident, crash victims are within their right to pursue compensation for medical expenses and other financial losses accrued. An experienced litigator at Zbinden & Curtis, Attorneys At Law know how to handle motorcycle accidents and get results.

Contact us today to schedule a free, no-obligation, case evaluation.