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Social Security Disability Blog

Be careful near trucks in Tennessee -- especially at these hours

When you're headed to work on Tuesdays, you need to be especially careful around trucks this time of year. It seems a number of truck drivers might suffer from a Monday Night Football hangover (that's probably doubly true if our Tennessee Titans played.)

A study by a company that analyzes a truck driver's in-cab behavior said that drowsy driving and driver mistakes happen more often on Tuesdays. A researcher said the instances of drowsy driving are noticeably higher on Tuesday mornings, and he theorized Monday Night Football was the culprit for that.

3 common causes of holiday injuries

The winter holiday season is a wonderful time to spend time with your family, decorate the home and go on road trips. Some common activities you may partake in include hanging lights, decorating a Christmas tree and driving to visit loved ones. While these tasks may be somewhat stressful, you may not view them as dangerous.

However, even simple tasks during the holidays can result in injuries, disabilities and fatalities. Here are some statistics and safety tips to help you avoid injuries from holiday accidents this year. 

How big of a problem are uninsured motorists in Tennessee?

One of the main reasons that motorists take out uninsured (UM) or underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage when they purchase auto insurance is to make sure that they'll be able to cover their accident-related costs no matter who crashes into them. Nearly two dozen states require motorists to take out UM or UIM coverage. Tennessee is not one of those states, but perhaps should be based on how many motorists drive without insurance.

According to data published by the Insurance Research Council in 2017, as many as 13 percent of all drivers in 2015 drove their cars while uninsured. The number of motorists driving around without insurance has steadily increased from its all-time low of 12.3 percent in 2010.

How the emotional stress of an accident changes your life

You know that the physical injuries you suffer in a car accident could change your life forever, but have you ever really considered the mental and emotional impact of a crash? This is usually worse when you get seriously injured or when a loved one passes away, but it can happen even after "minor" accidents. This stress can absolutely have a negative impact on your life.

The main symptom you may see is a fear of driving. It could be almost as bad as a phobia, and you'll feel like you're having a panic attack if you get in a vehicle or drive down the same road where the accident happened. Other potential symptoms may include:

  • Waking up often or not being able to get to sleep
  • Having nightmares and flashbacks
  • Going through mood swings and feeling more irritable than you did before
  • Experiencing excessive weight gain or weight loss
  • Withdrawing from friends and family members; choosing to spend more time alone
  • Always feeling exhausted or fatigued, making it hard to go to school or work
  • Feeling like life is always overwhelming and you cannot cope with it
  • Becoming obsessive about specific behaviors, especially those related to safety
  • Feeling embarrassed by the accident and the way that it makes you feel
  • Being lonely, even when you chose the social withdrawal

Building your case when filing for Social Security Disability

A severe medical condition has kept you out of work for significant chunks of time, and your doctor tells you that you no longer can perform your job. Your doctor lets you know it's time to file for Social Security Disability.

This is news no Tennessee resident wants to hear, but you agree the time has come.

Top mistakes to avoid after a car accident

Injuries from a car accident can have serious ramifications that can continue to affect you for a long time to come. As the costs of accidents continue to grow, filing a lawsuit can be an effective way to get compensation to cover medical bills, make up for the earnings you lose and help you afford the added living expenses that often ensue.

The success of any particular claim depends on a wide variety of factors, many of which you cannot control. However, avoiding some common errors that can sabotage your case is a good way to increase your chances of prevailing.

Why don't all drivers use their blinkers?

It seems so easy: Before you turn your car, reach down and turn on your blinker. Let other drivers know what you intend to do. Make it clear so that you can all avoid an accident due to miscommunication.

And yet, many drivers fail to do it. How many times have you watched someone cut you off on the interstate, changing lanes without a blinker? How many cars have slowed down unexpectedly in front of you, for no apparent reason, only to make a turn without an indication?

Signs that a dog may have rabies

Rabies can be transmitted from dogs to humans. Even those who do not contract the disease could be seriously injured in an attack. It is very important to make an early diagnosis. Those who get bitten need to seek medical treatment as soon as possible.

To help, here are a few common signs that a dog may be suffering from rabies:

  • The dog wants to eat nonfood items, such as dirt or drywall. This is known as pica.
  • The dog is running a fever.
  • The dog's jaw hangs open.
  • The dog experiences violent seizures.
  • The dog shows outward signs of aggression that are more severe than normal.
  • The dog becomes paralyzed or does not have very good coordination.
  • The dog's bark begins to sound different as the tone changes.
  • The dog becomes afraid of water.
  • The dog can no longer swallow while eating.
  • The dog becomes either very excitable or very shy; the disease impacts different animals in different ways.
  • The dog seems irritable all the time.
  • You notice that the dog's behavior and attitude have changed significantly or that they seem to shift often.
  • The dog begins salivating and frothing at the mouth.

Even small amounts of alcohol make accidents more likely

When you hear people talk about the risks of drunk driving, they often refer to the legal limit of .08 percent. This blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level can lead to a DUI arrest for someone who takes a breath test or a blood test.

As a result, people often act like this percentage is some sort of hard cutoff where driving suddenly becomes dangerous. They act like you'd be perfectly safe at .07 percent and then a high risk at .08 percent.

Knox County law enforcement step up patrol of school zones

Law enforcement agencies across Knox County have recently increased their patrol of school zones in an effort to keep children safer who are commuting to and from school. A spokesperson for the Knox County Sheriff's Office noted that their efforts are particularly aimed at curbing distracted and reckless driving in these highly trafficked areas.

Troopers with the Tennessee Highway Patrol, deputies with the Knox County Sheriff's Office and officers with the Knoxville Police Department are all participating in this initiative, which began on Sept. 14. Their patrol now covers all 88 schools and corresponding school zones throughout the county.

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Tony Farmer & John Dreiser

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