5 Safe Driving Tips for Rainy Days
Portland is known for its cycling commuters, with more residents choosing pedal power as their means of getting to and from work than in any other major American city. At Pickett Dummigan Weingart, we ourselves are bike commuters, bike racers, and recreational riders. Our Oregon bicycle accident attorneys understand the challenges of cycling in the city better than most lawyers in Portland.
Cycling is a healthy and enjoyable activity, but it’s not without risks. When accidents happen, riders may require the expert help of a Portland bicycle accident attorney to help them pay their medical expenses and obtain the financial compensation they are entitled to for their injuries.
Facts about biking in Portland
Oregon has been ranked among the most bike-friendly states in the United States, as per the American League of Bicyclists. Portland has implemented several initiatives to promote cycling, and its traffic laws offer protection to bicyclists against typical traffic hazards.
Despite this, the majority of bicycle accidents in Oregon occur on city streets, with only a small number occurring on highways. In Portland, 94% of bicycle accidents happen on the road, including bikeways, while only 6% occur on the shoulder or sidewalk. The 2019 Oregon Traffic Crash Summary (OTCS) reveals that males aged between 25 and 34 are the most common bicycle crash victims, with over 78% of those involved in accidents being male, and more than 27% falling within this age bracket.
Causes of bicycle accidents in Portland
According to the OTCS, a significant majority of bicycle accidents in Portland are caused by vehicle drivers, accounting for 63.1% of crashes. The remaining 36.9% were attributed to either cyclists or environmental conditions. Among the crashes caused by vehicle drivers, the most common causes were failing to yield the right of way, turning left into or in front of an oncoming bicyclist, distracted driving, running a red light or stop sign, speeding, and changing lanes improperly.
What to know when commuting by bike in Portland
To reduce the risk of collisions, follow four fundamental safety tips while riding your bike:
1. Follow the rules of the road
Bicycles are considered vehicles and should therefore adhere to the same rules. While commuting by bike, be aware of red lights and stop signs, follow the flow of the motor traffic, avoid reckless lane changing, and, if possible, ride in designated bike lanes. Riding on the sidewalk is illegal in downtown Portland.
2. Be visible to others
In this regard, bicyclists have more in common with pedestrians than other vehicles. This is why you should wear bright clothing and place reflective tape on your backpack. Additionally, the bicycles themselves need to be equipped with reflectors and lights for riding at night or in conditions of low visibility.
3. Watch out for car doors
Make sure to note whether parked cars are occupied in case someone decides on opening a door. Also keep your distance from parked cars when riding, since it may not always be possible to see inside a parked vehicle.
4. Be a courteous rider
In addition to watching out for motor vehicles, be aware of your proximity to other bicyclists and pedestrians. This means using caution when passing other bicycles on the road or the bikeway. Collisions between bicycles can themselves be serious, especially if a rider is tossed into the road.
Have you been involved in a bicycle accident?
If you or someone you care about has been injured through the negligent actions of others, our Portland personal injury attorneys can help you receive compensation and ensure you are treated fairly by auto insurance companies. We have helped many injured cyclists through the challenges of dealing with insurance companies and will fight for you!