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Social Security Disability Blog

5 ways that truckers can deal with fatigue

Truckers in Tennessee hardly need to be told that stress, lack of sleep and exercise, heavy lifting and long hours are all a part of their line of work. But the fatigue that results from it all can put their life in danger. A study from the University of Utah School of Medicine shows that truck drivers who are fatigued and have a high pulse pressure are more likely to be in an accident. There are some effective ways for dealing with fatigue.

First, truckers should look at their sleep schedule and try to ensure six to eight hours of sleep a day. If they cannot achieve that amount in one stretch, truckers should try sleeping at different intervals and determine one that suits them. A second way is to improve one's diet. Junk food only provides a momentary "sugar rush" and does nothing to replenish the body. Third, truckers should limit their consumption of coffee and alcohol.

Rear seat offers little protection in car accidents

Some Tennessee residents may believe that sitting in the backseat of a vehicle offers certain protections. Unfortunately, a new study has revealed that this is not the case. A study done by researchers at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shows that sitting in the backseat can be more dangerous than the front seat due to a lack of safety technology in this area.

Several areas in the rear seat were found to be deficient in safety features when compared. Front seat passengers have safety belts that have force limiters. During an accident, these force limiters cinch tightly, offering very little give. However, many vehicle rear seat safety belts don't have force limiters. Additionally, rear-seat passengers don't have as many side airbags, and no current vehicles offer forward airbags for these passengers. Some vehicle manufacturers are currently working on developing forward airbags for the back seat.

Study suggests seat belts protect men better than women

Seat belts save thousands of lives in Tennessee and around the country each year, but a study published recently in a leading road safety journal suggests that they do not offer as much protection in a front-end crash to women as they do to men. A team of academics from the University of Virginia analyzed more than 20,000 front-end collisions that took place over a 17-year period, and they found that women wearing seat belts suffered injuries far more often than men who were buckled up.

The researchers studied the data closely and took the age, height and weight of the vehicle occupants into consideration. They also sorted accidents by their severity and the age of the cars involved. The research team discovered that a woman is 73% more likely to suffer an injury in a front-end collision that a man, and they also found that serious injuries to the legs, abdomen and spine were twice as common among female accident victims. The study was published in Traffic Injury Protection on July 10.

Avoid these mistakes throughout the SSD application process

When you suffer a disabling injury or illness, your future may seem uncertain. You may be unable to continue working in your chosen profession, worry how you will financially support yourself and struggle with learning to cope with your impairment.

Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits provide many who are unable to work after a disability across Tennessee with access to the financial relief they need. However, the application process can be complicated and lengthy. Additionally, the Social Security Administration (SSA) rejects many first-time applications, often due to overlooked errors in the application. What are some common mistakes applicants should avoid?

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) - SSA Issues New Ruling on Obesity

Obesity is a commonly misevaluated issue in Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claims. The Social Security Administration (SSA) issued Ruling SSR 19-02p: "Titles II and XVI: evaluating cases involving obesity" on May 20, 2019. This new ruling will apply to all claims filed or pending on or after May 20, 2019. SSR 19-02p clarifies that SSA establishes obesity as a medically determinable impairment (MDI) based on height and weight, measured waist size, and BMI measurements over time. A BMI of 30 or higher or a waist size greater than thirty-five inches for women and greater and forty inches for men will generally establish the existence of an MDI of obesity. As with most impairments, though, the Social Security Administration will consider all evidence froObesity is a commonly misevaluated issue in Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claims. The Social Security Administration (SSA) issued Ruling SSR 19-02p: "Titles II and XVI: evaluating cases involving obesity" on May 20, 2019. This new ruling will apply to all claims filed or pending on or after May 20, 2019. SSR 19-02p clarifies that SSA establishes obesity as a medically determinable impairment (MDI) based on height and weight, measured waist size, and BMI measurements over time. A BMI of 30 or higher or a waist size greater than thirty-five inches for women and greater and forty inches for men will generally establish the existence of an MDI of obesity. As with most impairments, though, the Social Security Administration will consider all evidence from all sources when evaluating the severity of an impairment including all symptoms such as fatigue or pain and any functional limitations. The new ruling states that obesity may contribute to the limitation or range of motion of the skeletal spine and extremities and that people with obesity may have limitations and ability to sustain a function over time explaining that fatigue may affect the person's physical and mental abilities to sustain work activity.

If you need more information about a Social Security Disability/SSI, personal injury, EEOICPA, long or short-term disability, Railroad Retirement Board disability, or a workers compensation matter, please contact the Law Offices of Tony Farmer and John Dreiser for a free case evaluation. We can be reached at (865) 584-1211 or (800) 806-4611 or through our website. m all sources when evaluating the severity of an impairment including all symptoms such as fatigue or pain and any functional limitations. The new ruling states that obesity may contribute to the limitation or range of motion of the skeletal spine and extremities and that people with obesity may have limitations and ability to sustain a function over time explaining that fatigue may affect the person's physical and mental abilities to sustain work activity.

 

Independence Day: worst holiday for DUI fatalities

Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has shown that Independence Day is the worst US holiday for drunk driving crash fatalities. There were 1,192 such fatalities between 2010 and 2017 while Memorial Day, which came in second, saw 1,105 fatalities. Tennessee residents should know that the overall DUI fatality rate for the Fourth of July is 42.4. That is, 42.4 fatalities per day.

The DUI fatality rate for an equivalent summer day was calculated to be 26.1 per day, which is more than a 50% difference. In terms of fatality numbers, the case becomes even clearer. In 2017, for example, there were 184 DUI deaths during the Fourth of July weekend. By comparison, there were an average of 117 deaths in any given period of four to five equivalent summer days.

Study reveals effectiveness of advanced car safety features

When car buyers in Tennessee and around the country visit dealer showrooms, safety is often one of their primary concerns. Auto manufacturers are aware of this, and they have introduced a range of safety features in recent years that are designed to warn drivers about potentially dangerous situations and prevent accidents. Some road safety experts worry that drivers who put too much faith in these safety systems may actually be more likely to crash, but a recent study from the market research company J.D. Power suggests that vehicle owners do not share this view.

More than half of the vehicle owners surveyed by J.D. Power who bought cars, SUVs or pickup trucks equipped with backup cameras, blind spot alerts or collision prevention systems said that the features helped them to avoid a crash within 90 days of leaving the showroom. Data to back up these claims is sparse because government statistics do not provide information about car accidents that do not happen, but dealers report selling far fewer replacement parts for vehicles that have advanced safety systems.

Crash risk goes up for teens between Memorial Day and Labor Day

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has called the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day the 100 deadliest days for teen drivers. Teens, who are inexperienced to begin with, are on the road more frequently during the summer, which is why the risk they run for getting in a car crash increases about 15% in those 100 days. Parents of teen drivers in Tennessee should know what to do to address this trend.

It all comes down to safety education. Teens should know that it is clearly wrong to drive drowsy, drunk or impaired by drugs, yet it bears repeating whenever the Fourth of July celebrations are coming up. Teens should reduce the amount of night driving they do. In construction work zones, they must exercise greater caution.

What drivers can do about drowsiness on the road

Most drivers in Tennessee recognize the danger of drowsy driving. If they do not get adequate sleep (the CDC recommends at least seven hours), they will only raise the risk for a car crash. The National Sleep Foundation reports that going without sleep for 24 hours will create the same level of impairment as that experienced by a drunk driver with a .10 BAC.

According to a 2018 AAA study, 9.5% of auto accidents are caused by sleepy drivers. In a AAA survey, nearly a third of the respondents admitted to driving while drowsy once during the previous month. They said they were so drowsy that they could hardly keep their eyes open.

Study: opioid use doubles chances of fatal auto accident

With 214 million opioid prescriptions being issued every year, there is little doubt that the nation is seeing an opioid epidemic. Tennessee residents should know that opioids are dangerous substances for drivers and operators of heavy machinery because they can make one sedated and even dizzy.

However, many people drive while impaired by opioids. Roughly 7% of all fatal car accidents in the U.S. involve a driver on the medication. In the 1990s, opioid use led to only 1% of accidents. To show how opioid use raises the risk for fatal crashes, researchers at Columbia University undertook a new study.

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