Every new season brings with it different hazards that motorists should be on the lookout for. Here are the autumn accident risks that the car accident lawyers in Houston, Texas at Schechter, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P., Accident & Injury Lawyers advise you to watch out for this fall.

Fall Back in Time

Daylight Savings Time will ends at 2 a.m. on Sunday, November 2, when we’ll all roll our clocks back an hour. The earlier sunset means that more people are heading home from work at dusk or after dark, which makes it more difficult for some to stay awake on the long drive home.

Watch out for these signs of drowsy driving:

  • Irritable, restless feeling
  • Missing traffic signs, lights or exits
  • Inability to stay focused
  • Excessive blinking
  • Excessive yawning
  • Daydreaming
  • Difficulty remembering past few miles you’ve driven

If you feel any of these symptoms, it’s best for your own safety and the safety of those around you that you pull over and take a break before resuming the drive.

Deer Xing

As the weather turns cool, deer will be a more common sight in Texas, from country backroads to the busiest highways. Deer-related car accidents have the potential to be fatal when the driver loses control and either drives off the road or into oncoming traffic.

Decrease your risk of a deer accident by:

  • Driving at safe speeds
  • Observing traffic signs that warn of deer crossings
  • Actively scan the sides of the roads as you drive for signs of wildlife

Even when driving safely, car accidents with deer or other wildlife still happen. If you find yourself with a deer ahead of your car, brake firmly and honk your horn. If a crash is unavoidable, do not swerve. Most serious crashes happen because motorists swerve to avoid the deer and strike another vehicle, run off the road or roll over.

Distracted and Aggressive Driving

Fall is the beginning of the busy holiday season. Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s all come more quickly than many of us are ready for. The stress often leads to a spike in aggressive and/or distracted driving, both of which increase the risk of a serious accident.

Drivers should keep distractions minimized and drive defensively, not aggressively:

  • Don’t talk or text on a cell phone
  • Avoid eating and driving
  • Do not apply makeup/fix hair while driving
  • Don’t adjust radios or GPS devices while driving
  • Follow the road rules: signals, speed limits, traffic signs, etc.
  • Don’t follow other drivers too closely
  • Don’t follow with high beams on

If you notice someone else driving erratically, take the following measures to keep yourself and your passengers safe:

  • Stay calm
  • Move out of the aggressive driver’s way, preferably to the far right hand lane
  • Avoid eye contact and rude gestures
  • Call 9-1-1 if necessary

Fall is a wonderful time of year in Texas, with cooler weather bringing relief from the hot summer days. Our Houston auto accident lawyers hope you and your loved ones enjoy the season and stay safe!