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Social Security Disability Blog

In 2017, red-light running crash deaths saw 10-year high

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has found that an increasing number of people are dying in crashes due to drivers who run red lights. In 2017, there were 939 such deaths, marking a 10-year high. AAA found that in 65% of these crashes, it's not the offending driver who dies but the innocent victim. Drivers, pedestrians and cyclists in Tennessee and across the U.S. are at risk for becoming the victims of red-light runners, so they should know how to protect themselves.

Defensive driving is key. Drivers stopped at a red light should not dart out the moment it turns green but rather wait a second or two. Then, they should look both ways. As they come upon an intersection, their foot should hover over their brake. They could tap their brake a couple of times, too, to catch the attention of the driver behind them. Though many red-light runners are simply impatient, others can be distracted. Lastly, drivers should watch out for stale green lights and act accordingly.

Ways you can increase your SSD benefits

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) reports that nearly one out of every four Americans has a disability. That amounts to 61 million citizens with a mental or physical impairment affecting their daily lives who could be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits (SSD).

The government designed SSD as financial assistance for impaired individuals who have paid Social Security taxes here in Tennessee and elsewhere. If you qualify, your income and tax history determines the amount you receive.

NSC estimates over 40,000 traffic deaths in 2018

The National Safety Council has come out with its preliminary estimate on car crash injuries and fatalities in 2018, and the conclusions are not heartening. It turns out that 2018 is the third year in a row to see more than 40,000 traffic deaths. Tennessee residents should know that though 2018 saw 1% fewer deaths than 2016 and 2017, the number still represents a 14% increase from 2015.

The NSC has not said anything definite about what is causing the trend, but there are several factors that can be gleaned. Distractions were behind 8% of crashes, and drowsiness explained 2% of accidents. The nationwide opioid crisis is leading to greater numbers of impaired drivers. In addition, more pedestrians died in 2018 compared to the previous year.

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.

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