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Social Security Disability Blog

Why is it more dangerous to drive during winter?

With cooler temperatures coming soon in Tennessee, it is time to act more cautiously when driving. While Knoxville does not get much snow every year, usually around six inches, it is enough to make driving substantially harder. 

You should remain vigilant on roadways all year long. However, winter poses significant dangers that you typically do not see during the spring and summer. Avoid a dangerous car accident by remaining cognizant of the hazards. 

Does hearing loss entitle you to workers' compensation?

Many workers' compensation claims are centered around one clear event that took place. A worker falls from a roof, for instance. It's easy to trace his or her injuries back to that specific event and even to connect many costs -- medical bills, lost wages and the like -- to those injuries.

However, what about something that happens gradually, over time? Can you still qualify for workers' compensation, for instance, if you have lost some of your hearing?

Treating dogs like humans can be dangerous

When a dog bites someone, it's common for the owner to be shocked and surprised, claiming that it's never been a problem before.

The issue, some experts say, is that people tend to treat dogs like human beings. This ignores what dogs need and what they are. It can put them in dangerous and problematic situations. Owners may be surprised by the bite, but they shouldn't be. They let it happen.

Why aren't drowsy driving statistics better?

It seems like we have statistics for every kind of accident. For instance, it's easy to find out how many accidents are annually caused by drunk drivers.

The same is not true for drowsy drivers. We know it's a problem, and there are estimates. Per the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, around 1,550 people pass away every year in these accidents, while 71,000 people are hurt. But these are just estimates. Why are solid statistics so hard to come by? Below are a few reasons:

  1. You can't test for it. A breath test can tell you if a driver is drunk, but the same isn't true for tired drivers.
  2. The reporting at the state level tends to be unreliable and inconsistent, with different codes and methods.
  3. It's also unreliable to turn to self-reporting. Drivers may lie to avoid being at fault or may not realize they were so tired.
  4. Other factors may also contribute. For example, if a drunk driver falls asleep at 2 a.m., that's reported as a DUI crash, though fatigue was definitely part of it.

4 tips for avoiding impaired drivers

Drunk drivers continue to be a serious issue on Tennessee's roads, and simply not drinking and driving yourself isn't enough to avoid being involved in a crash. If you really want to reduce the risk, you may need to take drastic steps to avoid these impaired drivers.

What can you realistically do? Though nothing can bring the risk down to zero, these four tips can help:

  1. Don't assume other drivers will follow the law. When a car is coming toward you, it's natural to assume that driver will stay on his or her side of the center line. Remember, though, that the line is only a strip of paint. It doesn't actually protect you. Watch other cars carefully and be ready to act if they make mistakes.
  2. Stay home on the holidays. Many DUI accidents happen around holidays like the Fourth of July and St. Patrick's Day, which are largely geared around drinking. The risks are higher on those days and the nearest weekends.
  3. Keep off of smaller roads. Though you may feel like the faster interstates pose a bigger threat, studies have actually shown that the deadliest crashes happen on two-lane roads in rural areas.
  4. Don't drive at night. Far more people drink and drive after dark, to the point that three times as many people die in DUI crashes at night, when compared to daytime accidents. The later the hour, the higher the risk.

How to stay safe while on the roads

You are a cautious driver by nature and go above and beyond to pay attention to the roads in the Knoxville area. But being a safe driver is not the only way to protect yourself and passengers from car accidents. With the roads being more congested than usual, it is important for you to stay on guard against reckless and drunk motorists. 

Even people who practice safe driving habits cause some car accidents. To protect yourself from the majority of car accident hazards that are out there, consider the following safety tips. 

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) - Compassionate Allowance List Increased by Three Conditions

People seeking Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits should be aware that the Social Security Administration (SSA) recently announced the addition of three conditions to its Compassionate Allowance (CAL) List. The CAL Program is designed to quickly identify diseases or other medical conditions that would invariable medially qualify the application for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) under Step Three of the sequential evaluation process ("The Listings.") The idea is that the conditions are of such as severity that the claimant would qualify based on even a minimal objective medication information. If the condition does not meet the strict criteria, it would not be designated as a CAL case. CAL cases receive expedited processing within the contest of the existing disability determination process. The three new CAL conditions are:

· Infantile and childhood onset forms of Childhood Ataxia with Central Nervous System Hypomyelination (CACH), also known as Vanishing White Matter Disease. This is a congenital, inherited disorder that creates a variety of neurological symptoms.

· Congenital Myotonic Dystrophy, which is a form of Muscular Dystrophy that tends to present itself in adulthood leading to gross and fine motor limitations and often cognitive impairments.

· Kleefstra Syndrome, which is a disorder involving deletion or mutation of the EHMT1 gene. Symptoms involve multiple body systems and are generally apparent at birth or at infancy.

The governments' statistics indicate that approximately 500,000 disability claims were approved with the CAL process from 2012 to 2016 and those claims represent approximately three percent of all claims processed for disability each year.

For a complete listing of the CAL conditions click here:

Why does your employer ignore safety?

You know that safety in the workplace is important. You know that OSHA (the Occupational Safety and Health Administration) has strict regulations.

However, you can't shake the feeling that your employer just ignores basic safety regulations on a consistent basis. You can't figure it out. Why would something so important be neglected?

Tennessee is in the top 10 for odds of dying in a car accident

There are many factors that go into each car accident, so looking only at the odds doesn't always tell the whole story. That said, the numbers can paint a picture of the dangers in any state and show you how likely it is you'll be killed in a crash.

From that perspective, Tennessee is fairly dangerous. It ranks out right at the bottom of the top 10, at No. 10 overall.

Does the weather make truck accidents more likely?

It's easy to assume that the weather plays a huge role in truck accident statistics. Perhaps you've seen videos of trucks sliding in the snow or crashing because of reduced visibility in heavy thunderstorms.

Truckers are working, after all. They can't just stay in during bad weather, reading a book, drinking a cup of coffee and waiting for it to clear. That may be fine for people in many other professions or for students, but truckers have to brave these conditions.

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Tony Farmer & John Dreiser

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