With warmer weather comes the pull of the great outdoors. Thousands of people across the state of Connecticut spend their spring and summer weekends hiking, camping, biking and even boating. Enjoying those activities usually means driving to a cabin or visiting with friends. With the desire to relax and enjoy oneself often also comes the impulse to consume excessive amounts of alcohol.

The summer months are a time of increased risk for people on the roads because of the heightened presence of impaired drivers. Summer barbecues and Independence Day celebrations are likely to involve copious amounts of alcohol. Staying alert, staying off the road during the most dangerous times and watching out for impaired drivers can help you stay safe.

Avoid driving on the most dangerous days if you can

You probably already know that the 4th of July is a holiday often celebrated with a combination of alcohol and fireworks. You may need to travel in order to enjoy the most beautiful fireworks display or be in a location where you can legally set them off yourself. However, you would be wise to avoid driving after dusk on the 4th of July if at all possible.

After all, when people pack up and leave the fireworks display, they will likely drive home, even if they have had too much to drink. It may surprise you to learn that July 3rd and July 4th are actually the two most dangerous days for driving in the United States. Historically, these two days are when the most traffic deaths take place.

August 3rd is also in the top five most dangerous days. There's no clear explanation why this day in early August is so dangerous, but it may be because of people traveling for vacations before the kids go back to school.

Watch for warning signs of impaired driving

Drunk drivers often have a lot of practice at maneuvering their vehicles despite their impaired state. Many people who choose to drive while intoxicated do so frequently, likely as part of an untreated addiction to alcohol. That may mean that their driving doesn't seem erratic at first. Watching for secondary signs other than swerving can help you stay safe.

Drivers who have their windows down and their music loud may be attempting to keep themselves focused. Also watch for those who are traveling at speeds much below the speed limit or otherwise driving in a conspicuous and unusual manner. Ideally, you would notice any driver who seems to be under the influence of alcohol and avoid crossing paths with them.

However, if you get hurt by a drunk driver, Connecticut law does provide you with the legal right to seek compensation from that person and hold them accountable for the damages they caused.

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