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Articles Posted in Personal Injury

winter-driving-300x200Winter is here with a bang and so are its dangers. While snowstorms may bring an abundance of beauty, they also bring an abundance of hazards: iced-over, slippery, or snowy roads, poor visibility, and broken-down vehicles all pose an extra threat during this magical time of year. As a result, 17% of all crashes occur during winter weather. Research done by AAA’s Foundation for Traffic Safety shows that, within the United States alone, nearly half a million crashes and 2,000 road deaths are caused every year by bad weather or poor road conditions. Being aware of these dangers and preparing properly for them can ensure your safety and the safety of your loved ones on the road.

Winter driving dangers are in large part caused by terrible road conditions, poor visibility, and neglectful vehicle maintenance.

Terrible road conditions can be caused by one of three things: rain, snow, or ice. Rain can decrease visibility and cause hydroplaning, snow can make it difficult to accelerate and decelerate your car, and ice can be so thin it’s not even visible (black ice) and can make the roads extremely slippery. All 3 of these things can lead to accidents because they make it more difficult to stop, start, or turn your vehicle.

baby-food-1-300x300Baby food has been facing some much-needed scrutiny lately. A recently released Congressional report disclosed that many top baby foods, both organic and non-organic, are contaminated with dangerous levels of heavy metals such as arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury. This is especially concerning since both the World Health Organization and the FDA have concluded that these heavy metals pose a danger to human health, and to babies and children in particular.

The findings are the result of a year-long investigation by the House Committee on Oversight and Reform into heavy metals in baby food. Launched after a 2019 study by Healthy Babies Bright Futures found toxic metals in 95% of the baby food they tested, the Congressional investigation asked top baby food companies to voluntarily produce information about their testing policies and test results. Four companies responded to this request: Gerber, Beech-Nut, Hain, and Nurture. The Hain products are labeled as ‘Earth’s Best Organic’ and the Nurture products are labeled as ‘HappyBABY’. Three other companies—Walmart, Sprout Organic, and Campbell–did not cooperate, according to the Congressional report.

The responses to the Congressional inquiry revealed a major problem: all of the companies had used ingredients containing heavy metals in their baby food. Not only that, but the companies had routinely ignored their own standards for toxic metals, continuing to sell tainted baby food to families. And most of the companies had failed to test their finished baby food products for toxic metals, despite an industry admission that testing only the ingredients might underestimate the amount of heavy metals in the finished product. Below are the some of the results included in the Congressional report. (Keep in mind that these numbers are from the companies’ own test results, not results from an independent lab.)

Are you aware that certain cars can put you at a significantly higher risk of suffering serious consequences if you are in a car accident? It’s true. The type, make, and model of the vehicle you are driving can have a substantial impact on your level of safety in the event you are in a car crash. And contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to spend a lot of money to drive an extremely safe car. Fortunately, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), has compiled data on which cars had the highest and lowest rates of driver deaths per million registered vehicle years for the period between 2015-2018. Being aware of this information can help you make a safe choice if you are considering purchasing a new car.

The top 5 cars on the list with the highest rates of driver deaths are:

  • Ford Fiesta: 141 driver deaths per million registered vehicle years

toddler-with-toys-2-300x200Keeping children safe and protected from hazards is a top priority for parents. Unfortunately, many toys on the market pose a danger to children. As a result, every three minutes in the U.S., a child is brought to an emergency room with a toy-related injury. Regardless of the severity of the risk they pose–from minor to serious injury or even death–it is unacceptable that dangerous toys are being sold and marketed to children. Playtime should be a safe time for all children. Luckily, there is a non-profit that is solely focused on keeping children safe and educating the public about toy safety. W.A.T.C.H., World Against Toys Causing Harm Inc., releases a yearly list of the most dangerous toys. The toys included on the list this year may pose a choking hazard or cause lacerations, impact injuries, eye injuries, or other injuries, so it is best to avoid them. Below you will find the ten toys that made the list and why W.A.T.C.H. considers them unsafe:

  1. Calico Critters Nursery Friends from Epoch Co. This toy poses a choking hazard due to its small parts.
  2. Missile Launcher from Toysmith. This toy can cause eye and facial injuries.

newborn-220142_1280-1024x682Graco has issued a recall of approximately 51,000 of their infant inclined sleepers because they pose a suffocation risk. While no deaths have occurred with the Graco infant inclined sleepers, there have been a number of infant deaths linked to other, very similar products. The inclined sleepers that are being recalled by Graco have been sold as accessories to the following Graco playards:

  • Pack ‘n Play Day2Dream Playard with Bedside Sleeper
  • Pack ‘n Play Everest Playard

HalloweenPost_Facebook-1024x538Halloween is a time of year that many people–adults and children alike–look forward to. It’s an exciting time of year with lots of fun things to do, from Halloween parties to haunted houses to trick-or-treating. However, it’s also a dangerous time of year.

What Makes Halloween Dangerous?

 It’s hard to think of one of your favorite holidays as dangerous, but that is the unfortunate reality of Halloween. Hoards of children out walking the streets, typically at dusk or after dark, is a tricky situation. To make matters worse, these children often wear costumes that make them less visible to drivers on the road or poorly fitted masks that impede their vision. As a result, children are twice as likely to be hit by a car on Halloween than at other times of the year. Then there is the added danger associated with participating in Halloween activities like costume parties or trick-or-treating during the COVID pandemic. All of this may make some people feel like abandoning Halloween entirely, but that is not necessary. There are many ways that families and neighbors can celebrate Halloween and stay safe this year:

Hand-sanitizer-225x300Washing your hands with soap and water is always the best option for keeping your hands clean, but we don’t always have access to soap and water. That’s where hand sanitizer comes in. Hand sanitizers have never been as popular or necessary as they are right now. Unfortunately, the increase in demand for hand sanitizers has led to some dangerous products being on the shelves. There has been a dramatic increase in hand sanitizers containing methanol, also referred to as wood alcohol. Methanol has no place in hand sanitizers given that it can be toxic when absorbed through the skin or ingested. To make matters worse, the methanol found in hand sanitizers is not being labeled as an ingredient on the product itself, meaning we have to be extremely careful about what products we are buying and using during this time.

What is Methanol?

 Methanol is a volatile, flammable liquid that is commonly used in antifreeze and fuel production. Exposure to methanol can cause agitation, headaches, dizziness, nausea, amnesia, seizures, and comas. If hand sanitizer containing methanol is ingested, blindness or death can occur. Under no circumstances should methanol be used in hand sanitizers.

car-commuter-driver-driving-7433-1024x682Coronavirus put a halt to the world as we know it, and it also put a stop to driving for many of us. We started working from home, getting groceries and meals delivered, avoiding gatherings, and staying home in the evening. With everything closed, there really was no need to drive. Now that states are starting to reopen, however, more people are out and about, and more drivers are getting back on the road. Some of the drivers out there, however,  haven’t driven in nearly 4 months! Given that many of us are out of practice, the roads might look a bit like they’re full of 16-year-old kids who just got their driver’s licenses. It’s important that we drive carefully and do whatever we can to make the roads safe for everyone, as we get back into the swing of things. The good news is that there are steps we can take to ensure that our roads are as safe as possible while we shake the rust off of our driving abilities.

Here are some suggestions for staying safe on the road.

  1. Possibly the most important thing we can all do is watch our speed. With fewer people out driving, roads have been less congested. This lack of traffic has led to an increase in speeding. The issue here lies with the combination of increased speed and rusty drivers on the road. Rusty drivers are more likely to be involved in an accident. Increased speed means that, if accidents do happen, they’re going to be more serious than if everyone had been following the speed limit. Take a deep breath and slow down.

car-accident-1660670_1920-300x300As Illinois moves into phase 3 of COVID-19 reopening, traffic is making a big comeback. You may have noticed that the roads are more crowded, the parking lots are a bit fuller, and the expressways feel more like they did in January and February.

If you’ve noticed an uptick in traffic, you’re not alone. Congestion, higher travel times, and traffic crashes are on the rise as Illinois resumes activities under phase 3 of the Illinois reopening plan.

After the state-wide stay-at-home order took effect in mid-March, weekly traffic volume in Chicago was cut in half. As of last week, traffic was back to 77% of 2019 levels, according to the Chicago Department of Transportation.

car-accident-1660670_1920-1024x1024A trio of car accidents in Naperville have caused the tragic deaths of four people in the past month.

The latest heartbreaking accident, which happened just after 6 p.m. on Wednesday, June 10th, took the lives of a 77-year-old man and a 71-year-old woman who were out walking. Preliminary investigations reveal that the pair was crossing Hobson Road at the intersection of College Road, when they were struck by a 2017 black Toyota Tundra—driven by a 64-year-old Naperville woman– turning west onto Hobson from the northbound lane of Wehrli Road. The pedestrians, who were both Naperville residents, were transported to an area hospital with life-threatening injuries. Sadly, the man died shortly after arrival; the woman succumbed to her injuries the next day.

Only a few days prior, another terrible accident was caused by a driver under the influence on Royce Road. At 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 6th, a 54-year-old Naperville man driving west on Royce Road crossed over into the eastbound lane, according to a police investigation. The man’s 2014 Dodge Ram then proceeded to hit an eastbound 2017 Ford Fiesta head-on. Naperville Fire Department responded to the crash to provide emergency medical attention, but tragically, the driver of the Fiesta, a 41-year-old man from Woodridge, was declared dead on the scene. The police charged the driver of the Dodge Ram with Aggravated Driving Under the Influence and Reckless Homicide.

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