Attorneys Dax Bello and Andres Hidalgo are advocating for a young man whose life was irrevocably changed due to a catastrophic commercial vehicle accident. This individual, while on his routine walk to work, was struck and run over by a reversing truck—one that was not equipped with a backup alarm.
The consequences of this tragic event are profound: he now endures debilitating injuries that have robbed him of his capacity to work and diminished his ability to enjoy life as he previously did.
In response to this life-altering incident, STFBC is firmly dedicated to securing justice for our client.
The Growing Peril for Pedestrians
Our client’s situation speaks to a growing problem in our country: the increase in pedestrian fatalities due to vehicle collisions. A recent New York Times report revealed a concerning trend: while the rate of vehicle-related fatalities plummeted by 90% from 1920 to 2010, the subsequent decade marked a disturbing reversal of this trend. The U.S. has seen a significant uptick in vehicle death rates during the 2010s, a stark deviation from the continuous decline observed in most other developed nations. The vehicular mortality rate in the U.S. is now almost triple that of countries like Canada, Australia, or France, and even up to fivefold higher compared to Scandinavian countries, Switzerland, or Britain. Particularly distressing is the notable increase in pedestrian fatalities during nighttime, a trend that underscores the urgent need for effective interventions and policy changes to address this growing public safety issue.
The Driving Force Behind Rising Pedestrian Accidents
Contrary to common assumptions, the surge in traffic accidents isn't primarily due to larger vehicle sizes, increased instances of drunk driving, or dangerous road conditions. Instead, the primary factor contributing to this uptrend is the rise in smartphone usage. This issue is particularly pronounced in the U.S., where drivers are more inclined to use their smartphones than drivers in other countries.
This tendency is further amplified by the widespread use of automatic transmissions in the U.S., which require less active engagement from drivers. This, in turn, inadvertently encourages drivers to use their hands for non-driving activities. In contrast, in Europe, where manual transmissions are still preferred by 75% of drivers, the demand for constant engagement likely helps reduce smartphone-related distractions.
Adding to these challenges are factors such as the increasing use of substances like legal marijuana or opioids by drivers, coupled with rapid population growth in regions like the Sun Belt.
The Need for Infrastructure Improvement
Adding to these challenges discussed above is the fact that far too many regions are inadequately equipped with pedestrian accommodations, including sidewalks, crosswalks, and bike lanes, thereby elevating the risks for those traveling on foot. Among the most cost-effective strategies to enhance pedestrian safety is the construction of such accommodations; however, state and local governments have often neglected this critical aspect, resulting in dangerous pedestrian conditions.
As evidenced in our client's case, regular vehicle maintenance and incorporating safety features play a significant role in protecting pedestrians. The lawsuit filed by STFBC is not only a pursuit of justice for a life irrevocably changed but also a reminder of the broader issues at stake. It underscores the pressing need for comprehensive systemic reforms, encompassing improved road safety protocols, more conscientious driver smartphone usage, and enhanced infrastructure to safeguard pedestrians.