Caught in the midst of the two major end-of-year holidays, it’s no time to relax your guard against mayhem and injury.
A surge in drunk drivers at this time of year is just as predictable as sauerkraut and store sales. That’s why Michigan has declared December its “Impaired Driving Prevention Month.”
Why the focus on impaired driving right now?
Drunk and drugged drivers are a problem all year long, but there’s always a surge in incidents during the month of December — particularly in the period between Christmas and New Year’s. In that window of time, roughly 40% of all traffic deaths can be attributed to impaired driving — which is about 12% higher than during the rest of the month.
What causes the surge? There’s a combination of influences at play. Alcohol is a common feature in holiday celebrations, so people who aren’t heavy drinkers often imbibe more than normal — and that can lead to bad choices. Equally so, heavy drinkers are likely to feel like it’s permissible to drink even more — which can lead to equally bad choices.
Either way, drivers end up behind the wheel when they shouldn’t be, and other people suffer the consequences when they end up in wrecks.
What can you do to protect yourself against drunk drivers?
Primarily, the biggest thing you can do is to be a good defensive driver. When you’re on the road, keep your eyes peeled for a driver that seems to be disoriented, confused or erratic.
Be particularly cautious when you’re traveling after dark, since that’s when most drunk drivers are likely to be leaving the bars, restaurants or parties they’ve attended. And, naturally, you should never get behind the wheel when you’re impaired — or allow a friend or relative to do so.
A wreck with a drunk driver can leave you with broken bones, burns, severe back and neck injuries and more. Skilled representation by an attorney can help you protect your rights and obtain the maximum compensation possible for your losses.