Speed Reportedly a Factor in Motorcyclist’s Death

Date: September 24, 2009
Location: NE 148th Avenue near Glisan Street, Portland
Name: Curtis Rhodes

OregonLive.com reported that Curtis Rhodes, 42, of Portland, died September 24, 2009, after a single-vehicle crash in Northeast Portland. The accident occurred around 11 AM when Rhodes lost control of his motorcycle. No one else was injured.

The 42-year-old man crashed his motorcycle while southbound on N.E. 148th Avenue near Glisan Street. When police arrived at the scene, they found the man seriously injured. He was transported to a hospital, where he later died. Police believe speed was a factor in the crash.

Our hearts go out to Rhodes’ family during this difficult time. Anytime a motorcycle fatality occurs, we are reminded of the high injury and death rates for motorcycle riders. Several factors contribute to the potential risk: a motorcycle itself is more difficult to handle than a car, and two-wheeled vehicles are more unstable than those with four wheels. Adding to the danger, some motorists may find motorcyclists harder to see, or just aren’t watchful of them. And a substantial factor in many crashes is inexperience. This is why we welcome the new Oregon law requiring motorcycle skills training, and we are optimistic that this will make the roads safer for all.

According to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report, during 2005, motorcycles accounted for 0.4 percent of all vehicle miles traveled, but riders were 37 times more likely to die in a crash, and eight times more likely to be injured.

Nationally, an estimated 137,000 motorcyclists died between 1966 (when the Highway Safety and National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act was passed) and 2005. And locally, just last year, the Oregon Department of Transportation reports that 1,363 motorcycle riders were injured, and 66 died.

Shulman DuBois, LLC, is located in Portland, Oregon, and serves clients in all Oregon cities and counties, including: Portland, Beaverton, Multnomah County, Hillsboro, Gresham, Lake Oswego, West Linn, Tualatin, Troutdale, Sellwood, Corvallis, Salem, Eugene, and Albany.