As Illinois enters into the peak season for deer-vehicle crashes, motorists are reminded to be on the lookout for deer on the roadways.
In 2019, a total of 16,213 crashes involved deer in Illinois with more than 40 percent of crashes occurring in October, November and December.
The Illinois Department of Transportation and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources are encouraging drivers to be aware of the uptick in deer and encouraging motorists to follow these steps:
• Be aware of your surroundings, especially in areas with deer crossing signs.
• Scan the sides of the road for eye shine – the reflection of headlights in their eyes.
• Slow down if you see a deer. They travel in groups, so more are likely nearby.
• Prepare for the unexpected. Deer may stop in the middle of the road or double back.
• Deer are adaptable and can flourish in rural, suburban and urban environments.
• If a collision is inevitable, try to glance your vehicle off the deer and avoid swerving into opposite lanes of traffic.
If you hit a deer, pull off to the shoulder, turn on your hazard lights and call 911 to report the accident. Drivers should not exit the vehicle to check on an injured deer or pull it from the road.
For more information on how to claim a deer that was involved in a crash, click here. To report possession of a deer killed in a deer-vehicle crash, click here.