You may think that your risk for a drunk driving crash is low because you don't get behind the wheel after drinking. However, the people whom you share the road with may not be as responsible as you are. It is tragically common for drunk drivers to cause crashes that result in severe injuries or even kill the sober people in the other vehicles involved.

You could encounter a drunk driver any time of day and any day of the year. However, there are certain times and dates that carry more risk than others. Right after the bars close, typically at 2 a.m., is a dangerous time to be on the road, because those leaving the bars are out driving as well.

Similarly, on days when people drink heavily, your risk for encountering a dangerously drunk driver goes up substantially. The upcoming holidays are a perfect example of the increased risk that people experience due to drunk drivers at certain times. Drunk driving crashes tend to increase around the holidays.

The holidays are hard for some people

Our culture likes to think of the holidays as a time of joy and celebration. While that is often the case, it is not a universal experience. Many individuals experience loss or trauma on the days close to major holidays. Every year after that, the holiday will remind them of the trauma.

Other people may have gone through a divorce or lost a loved one unexpectedly. It can be very difficult to go through a first holiday season without someone you care deeply for. This leads some people to over-indulge in alcohol as a way to self-medicate their negative emotions. Some people don't enjoy spending time with their families. That can also result in overindulgence in alcoholic beverages.

In some cases, not having work the next morning could motivate people to drink too much. Regardless of why people drink more over the holidays, the fact is that they do. If you need to drive on Thanksgiving weekend or anytime right between Christmas and New Year's, be especially aware of potentially impaired drivers.

Watch for signs of impairment, and be prepared to take action

Spotting a drunk driver isn't always easy. Some people are very good at maintaining a facade of normalcy while highly chemically impaired. However, you can watch for issues such as irregular pacing -- like speeding up and slowing down repeatedly with no noticeable reason -- swerving, driving much slower than is reasonable, or other signs of erratic and unsafe driving.

If you or someone you love winds up in a collision caused by a drunk driver, be ready to hold that person accountable for the injuries they cause. Pursuing a personal injury lawsuit against drunk driver ensures that there are financial consequences for the person who causes injuries and property damage for you and the people you love.

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