Proctor & Gamble Recalls 32 Shampoo Products Due to Benzene Exposure

Multiple new outlets, including NPR, reported yesterday that manufacturing gian Proctor & Gamble (“P&G”) has recalled 32 of its’ shampoo products due to the possible Benzene exposure in many of the items. Benzene is a known carcinogen, which is found in the air and contained in motor fuels, plastics and resins. Exposure to high levels of the chemical can cause illness, including an increased risk of leukemia.

The company said recent reports revealed that benzene was detected in some aerosols, which prompted it to review its products. That review found “unexpected levels” of benzene in the propellant that sprays the product out of the can, P&G said.

Some of the aerosol products that have been recalled include Pantene, Herbal Essences and Old Spice. P&G did state that “they have not received any reports of adverse events related to this recall and is conducting this recall out of an abundance of caution.” 

You can find the complete list of products that have been recalled by clicking here. If you or a loved one uses any of these types of products should stop using them immediately.

If you have been injured by a defective product, or believe you have an Illinois products liability claim, then call Chicago personal injury attorneys at the Bryant Law Group for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.

December Is National Impaired Driving Awareness Month

I have written in recent weeks that traffic deaths in Illinois and around the country are far exceeding previous years. According to the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, more than 20,000 people died in car crashes during the first six months of 2021, a nearly 20% rise from the year prior. According to his advocacy group, a large portion of these traffic deaths are due to impaired driving.

“What we’re seeing in Illinois is similar to what’s happening throughout the country in that approximately 30% of people who are being killed are in alcohol-related crashes,” said Cathy Chase, president of Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety. “That’s really a terrifying number when you consider most people know that it’s not OK to drive while impaired, and yet people are still doing it.”

With traffic deaths up and traffic crashes due to impaired driving, the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety are pushing for stricter laws to curb this trend. First, the group recommends that all states require ignition interlock devices for all convicted drunk driving offenders. Currently 34 states (including Illinois) already have this law in place.

The organization also is pushing for new technology that could help preven car accidents. Specifically features like automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning systems, and forward-collision warnings.

Finally, the organization also is pushing states to lower the legal blood alcohol level to .05%. Currenty, the legal minimum is .08 in most states.

As I wrote earlier this week, multiple Chicago police and sheriff agencies are increasing patrols for the holiday season to hopefully remind people to buckle up and to avoid driving if they have been drinking. This recent trend is not encouraging, but these type of accident are easily preventable. Order an uber or lyft or designate a driver for your holiday party. It’s that easy.

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a Chicago traffic accident or Chicago truck accident, then call Chicago personal injury lawyers at the Bryant Law Group for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076,.

Suburban Chicago Police Step Up Holiday Traffic Patrols

The holiday season is here and many people will be on the road following Christmas parties. In response to the increased traffic and potential for impaired drivers, many suburban police departments are increasing their traffic patrols.

The Lake County, Illinois Sheriff’s Department announced this week that rom December 17 through January 3, more officers will be out patrolling roadway as part of a statewide traffic safety initiative targeting impaired drivers.

“Many people enjoy holiday parties this time of the year, but please be do not let that fun party end in tragedy by mixing alcohol or drugs into the driving equation,” said Lake County Sheriff John D. Idleburg. “Plan ahead and take a ride share or grab a ride with someone sober if you will be drinking or ingesting cannabis.”

If you are out and about during the holiday season, do not hesitate calling a rideshare, taxi or designate a driver. It is incredibly dangerous to get behind the wheel after drinking. It is also expensive and can ruin lives, if someone is charged with a DUI.

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a Chicago traffic accident or Chicago truck accident, please call Illinois personal injury attorney, Aaron J. Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.

New Study Shows Economic and Traffic Benefits of Chicago’s I-290 Expansion

I wrote earlier this week about Chicago’s traffic congestion woes. The city is currently the second worst for major U.S. and cities and 6th worst wordwide. Some interesting tidbits came out of that story, including the proposed expansions of I-290 and I-55 discussed by the Illinois Department of Transportation head. According to the site Roads & Bridges, a recent study for the 290 expansion would benefit Chicago drastically both economically and in traffic congestion.

The Illinois Economic Policy Institute (ILEPI) just released a study stating that the $2.7 billion project, which combines both transit and pedestrian improvements alongside bridge and roadway upgrades, is projected by the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) to provide amongst the best economic, equity, and traffic impacts of any project in the region by 2050 “The I-290 corridor is vital multi-modal infrastructure that’s needed to connect the western suburbs and southern Cook County with the City of Chicago, but it has far exceeded its design life and become one of the most congested and dangerous thoroughfares in the region,” stated ILEPI Transportation Director and study author Mary Tyler. “That said, its proposed modernization represents one of the region’s greatest opportunities to create jobs, reduce traffic burdens, and alleviate the economic access burdens facing disadvantaged communities.”

The proposed I-290 reconstruction project incorporates not only bridge and highway upgrades—including a new High Occupancy Toll lane (HOT3+) to support Express Bus service and promote carpooling—but also wider sidewalks, pedestrian safety islands, high visibility crosswalks, lighting, and signals to better facilitate pedestrian/bicycle traffic and transit riders.

A concurrent CTA project would upgrade Blue Line facilities, including reconstruction of the entire Forest Park Branch as well as stations from UIC-Halsted to Forest Park and six substations. 

The study examined the potential overall economic impact of the project, concluding that it would create nearly 22,000 new jobs paying an average of almost $80,000 per year, while growing the economy by more than $2.6 billion and boosting local, state, and federal tax revenues by more than $450 million.

What’s not to like about this project? It would hopefully finally start to free up one of the tightest and slowest commutes in and out of the city to the western suburbs (I-290) and create thousands of well paying jobs. The reporting has not said exactly where the funding will come from, but I would make a strong guess that Illinois’ portion from the recent $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill would be earmarked for this project.

If you or a loved one have been seriously injured in a Chicago car crash or Chicago truck accident, then please call the Chicago injury attorneys at The Bryant Law Group for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.

Chicago Drivers Lost 104 Hours In Traffic This Year

According to a new study by the taffic analytics company, Inrix, the average Chicago driver spent 104 hours in traffic so far this year. That is the most time spent in the car for drivers in any major U.S. city. The study also stated that Chicago is the second most congested U.S. city, just behind New York. And they rank 6th most congested world wide.

This numbers are pretty somber considering traffic numbers are still below pre-pandemic levels. Regardless, the Illinois Department of Tranportation head, Omer Osman, is optimistic that changes can be made to help reduce congestion. He told reporters recently that the state also plans to add two lanes to I-55 from I-294 to downtown Chicago, among other work on the expressway. Funding for these projects is expected to come from the recently passed federal infrastructure bill.

Osmen does not believe widening the roads is the final answer: “Anyone that thinks just widening a road by a lane is going to solve all of our traffic problems, that’s not realistic,” he said. “There’s not one kind of silver bullet.”

Those of us who live in Chicago are hopeful the completion of the Jane Byrne interchange (where 1-90/94 meets I-290), will hopefully aleviate alot of the downtown traffic. The construction is expected to be “substantially” completed some time in 2022.

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a Chicago traffic accident or Chicago truck accident, then call Chicago injury lawyer, Aaron J. Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.

Reminder: Chicago’s Overnight Winter Parking Ban Starts This Week

The City of Chicago’s department of transportation announced that the overnight parking ban on certain busy streets began on December 1 and runs through April 1, 2022. The parking ban is enforced regardless of whether it snows. Cars cannot be parked in these designated areas from 3:00 a.m. to 7:00 a.m. and covers 107 miles of main streets around the city.

Violators of the parking ban will be towed and face a minimum $150 towing fee, a $60 ticket, and a storage fee of $25 per day. Vehicles in violation of the ban will be towed to Pounds 2 (10301 S. Doty Ave.) or 6 (701 N. Sacramento).

The pupose of this ban is fairly obvious, as it allows snow plows to make their way through and clear all of the main streets around Chicago without obstruction.

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a Chicago car crash or Chicago truck accident, then call personal injury lawyer, Aaron J. Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.

National Safety Council Provides Halloween Safety Tips

It is Halloween weekend, and cities and towns will be packed with traffic and trick or treaters over the next few days. Chicago is well known to enjoy the Halloween holiday. The Saturday night before halloween is a popular night for the bars and house parties. Sunday is the main trick or treating night but I’m certain there will be kids out and about Saturday as well.

Luckily the National Safety Council (“NSC”) published safety tips for parents and for drivers as we head into the busy weekend. They recommend the following:

  • Use flashlights, glow sticks, and reflective tape on costumes so you are visible in the dark.
  • Stay on sidewalks, cross at designated intersections, and stay in well-lit areas.
  • Alcohol-based hand sanitizer should be carried and used frequently.
  • Candy collected during trick-or-treating should not be consumed until after handwashing. As always, a parent/guardian should check all candy to make sure it is wrapped and discard any unwrapped candy.
  • Wear a cloth mask instead of plastic, latex, or silicone. A costume mask, such as those worn for Halloween, is not a substitute for a face covering.

The one thing that I can add to this list is for people who will be out and about Saturday and night and they know they will be drinking. Please do not drive. Take a rideshare or the CTA to travel to and from your party or the bars. There will be more kids out and about than a normal Saturday. So if you are going out, call that Uber.

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a Chicago car crash or Chicago truck accident, then call Chicago personal injury lawyer, Aaron J. Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.

Traffic Study Shows Chicago Driver Speeds Down But Car Crashes Remain Up

September meant back to school and also a lot of companies had their employees returning to the office as well following labor day. Despite persistence of the Delta variant and the pandemic that won’t go away, rush hour traffic is back in Chicago. According to a new study by Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (“CMAP”), rush hour traffic has progressively returned and thus driver travel times are slower.

According to CMAP, 111 people died in crashes between March and early September, compared with 92 people during the same months in 2020, The number of people seriously injured in car crashes was up by nearly 20% compared to 2020.

According to the National Safety Council, which studies traffic safety, these increases in traffic accidents is caused by multiple factors. First, they believe the drivers returning to the office. Some who would normally have taken a bus or train might now be choosing to drive, meaning they less are experienced driving their routes. They also believe drivers are having a hard time putting down their phones while in the car. This has been a problem for the last 10 plus years, but now that meetings are mainly taking place via Zoom and FaceTime, a lot of drivers think they can handle these while driving.

The Council believes one solution to these issues is implementing “traffic calming” measures onto city streets, which can help protect cyclists and pedestrians too, as biking and walking are growing in popularity throughout Chicago and the suburbs. That can include lower speed limits, pedestrian islands and crosswalks in roadways and bike lanes, which both provide space for cyclists and narrow streets to encourage lower speeds.

Please remember to buckle up and put your phone down while in the car. I believe your employer, co-workers and clients will understand if you have to wait until you arrive at your office.

As always, please contact The Bryant Law Group at 312-614-1076, should you need a free legal consultation.

Chicago E-Scooter Program Will Become Permanent

Multiple local news outlets reported that the Chicago Department of Transportation (“CDOT”) has pushed forward a vote make Chicago’s -e-scooter program permanent after two sperate pilot programs. The City’s transportation committee approved making the program permanent and the entire city council will vote to enact today.

If approved the new program will authorize the transportation department to issue up to three licenses to scooter-sharing companies, with each company free to deploy 2,000 scooters per day, from 5 a.m. to midnight. The city will receive $1 per day for each scooter plus a 9% lease tax.

The new program will make the scooter more available throughout the city and for a longer period of time. The scooters will not be allowed on the lakefront. The technology will disable the scooter once they leave an authorized zone.

The safety issue, which appears to have been addressed by the transportation committee, is that the scooters will not work on sidewalks. CDOT has apparently been told that the technology will shut down a scooter once a rider tries to use on a sidewalk. I am somewhat dubious of this program due to the already crowded streets and bike lanes. The reporting on the committee meeting did now say whether scooters will be designated to bike lanes. If they are, will this create an issue between scooter riders and bicyclists? Also, will helmets be required for all scooter riders. These are some of the safety issues I believe need to discussed. Regardless, this program is moving forward as the vote is expected to pass today.

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a Chicago bike accident or Chicago traffic accident, then call Chicago injury lawyer, Aaron J. Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.

Central Illinois Traffic Fatalities Up In 2021

I wrote about Illinois traffic death rate for 2020 a few weeks back. It surprisingly showed an increase in traffic fatalities despite the pandemic and periodic shutdowns around the state. The Illinois Department of Transportation (“IDOT”) release numbers for 2021, which shows that traffic deaths are down overall for the state, but certain counties have actually seen an increase so far this year. There were almost 1,195 traffic related fatalities in Illinois in 2020. To date that number sits at 932.

Shelby County is up two deaths, Christian County is up three, Tazewell and Montgomery counties are both up four, and Effingham County has five more deaths than last year. IDOT says this data includes everyone who was killed inside a car itself, and any pedestrians or cyclists that also may have been killed because of an accident.

You can click here to view IDOT’s data in a snapshot.

It’s unclear why the numbers have jumped in that part of the state. Traffic experts are convinced that the 2020 increase in Illinois was due to more risky driving behavior. Some drivers assumed they could drive at dangerous rates of speed because so few vehicles were out on the road. It’s unclear what is going on in these counties. It could be an anomaly. I think we’ll have to take a look at all of the numbers at the end of the year.

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a Chicago car crash or an Illinois truck accident, then call Chicago personal injury lawyer, Aaron J. Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.