What Makes Driving in Autumn More Dangerous?

The hot North Carolina summer is ending. The mornings are brisker, and the air is crisper. Soon the leaves will be turning orange and red and falling. During Autumn, the sun sets earlier in the evenings as well. You may be surprised to learn that drivers are more at risk for getting into accidents during the fall. According to a study conducted by the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT), there is an increased risk of auto accident deaths in the Autumn, especially for pedestrians. Halloween is one of the year's deadliest days in terms of auto accidents. We will discuss some reasons driving in the Autumn can be more dangerous.

The Days are Shorter

Daylight Savings Time ends in the fall in North Carolina, and we turn our clocks back an hour. This process was initially intended to conserve power and fuel by shifting the day so there would be more daylight while people are awake. However, Daylight Savings Time causes the daylight hours to diminish as we head deeper into Autumn, meaning it gets darker earlier in the evening. Some drivers have more difficulty driving in the dark because of decreased visibility. After the time changes in November, many North Carolina drivers are still adjusting to the increased darkness on their commute home from work, and more accidents may occur.

Back to School

Most North Carolina students return to school before fall begins. When kids return to school, there is an increase in daily movements, including walking to and from the bus or to school. There's also an increase in school buses, which leads to more traffic stops as buses pick up and drop off children. All drivers need to be more vigilant during the school rush hour because pedestrian accidents are always possible at these stopping points. Drivers who do not follow school zone speed limits and teenage drivers who are transporting themselves to events can lead to pedestrian, bicycle, and other auto accidents.

Fall Weather

The change in weather brings cooler temperatures in the fall. In some parts of the country, this brings rain and snow. North Carolina drivers may not be used to frequently driving in snowy and icy conditions. They may be more likely to lose control of their vehicles when it occasionally snows, leading to car accidents. Fog can also make it difficult for drivers to see, resulting in preventable accidents.

Intoxicated Driving During Holiday Weekends, Including Halloween

Holiday weekends can be some of the most dangerous times for everyone on the road. Halloween is one of the deadliest days of the year in terms of pedestrian accidents. Kids dress up and ask for candy in large numbers. Drivers may be thinking about their plans for Halloween and not focusing on pedestrians on the road.

Children are often less risk-averse than adults, and they can be harder to see than adults, especially if they are dressed in dark costumes. When the streetlights are not bright enough, or drivers are distracted, devastating accidents are more likely to occur. Additionally, drivers may be more likely to drive while intoxicated during Halloween, Thanksgiving, and other autumn holidays.


Some sleeping patterns of animals change in Autumn. Nocturnal animals have more time to run around after daylight savings ends. Since drivers also travel more during dark hours, more accidents involving animals can happen, especially when it comes to deer. Autumn is mating season for North Carolina deer, and they are often most active during sunsets.

Drivers are at a higher risk of colliding with a deer during peak driving times. A deer darting out on the road in the darkness was low visibility could potentially cause a dangerous car accident or even a multi-vehicle pileup. Even when drivers are paying attention to the road, it can be challenging to see a deer darting onto the road in the dark.

Injured in a North Carolina Auto Accident? We Can Help

Have you been injured in a car accident in North Carolina? If so, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries through an insurance settlement or a personal injury lawsuit. You only have a limited amount of time to file a compensation claim, so it is crucial that you discuss your case with an attorney as soon as possible. We can help you understand your legal options and estimate your case's value. Contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC, to schedule a free case evaluation with one of our skilled car accident attorneys.

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