Deer activity on the rise with fall season underway;
IDOT and IDNR urge motorists to be alert
Car vs. Deer injury and property damage crashes increase in 2006,
– The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and the
Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) want to remind
motorists that deer are more active during the fall, and as
cooler weather approaches, the likelihood of vehicle crashes
involving deer increases.
Fall is the
busiest season for these crashes as deer seek mates and food
sources. Statistics show that in 2006, there were 25,491
deer-vehicle crashes reported in Illinois – up five percent from
24,248 reported the previous year. The number of people injured
in these crashes also increased slightly, from 901 in 2005 to
939 in 2006. Only one person was killed in Illinois in 2006,
due to a vehicle crash involving a deer. That number dropped
sharply from the 11 fatalities reported in 2005.
crashes occur throughout the year, but it is important to point
out that deer are most active in the fall and motorists need to
be alert,” said IDOT Secretary Milton R. Sees. “Drivers should
always buckle up and motorcyclists should wear helmets and always
be aware of their surroundings.”
standard safety practices can save lives, in the event of
crashes involving deer. A nationwide study of vehicle-animal
crashes conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
shows that 60% of people killed riding in vehicles were not
wearing seat belts, and 65% of motorcyclists killed were not
need to be cautious every fall when deer are mating and are most
active. Drivers need to be on the lookout for these animals on
country roads, interstates and even urban streets,” said Sam
Flood, Acting Director of IDNR. “Be especially cautious where
deer are likely to be present, such as wooded areas, stream and
creek beds, farm field edges, and parks or forest preserves.”
The top 10 Illinois counties for
deer-vehicle accidents in 2006 were:
Cook - 976
Pike - 670
Will - 601
Sangamon - 598
Lake - 588
Peoria - 565
Madison - 547
Kane - 510
Jefferson - 498
McHenry - 447
Suggestions for motorists to avoid
deer-vehicle accidents include:
deer-vehicle accident does occur, drivers and passengers
involved should provide assistance to anyone injured. Contact
local, county or state law enforcement. Do not attempt
to remove a dead or injured deer from a busy roadway. Illinois
law requires all accidents resulting in damage of $500 or more
to be reported and an accident report to be filed with police.
- Be particularly cautious at dusk and
dawn, when deer are most active.
- Reduce speed and be prepared to stop
on roads where deer may be present.
- Deer may cross the roadway and double
back across the road surface. Make sure deer have moved
away, before proceeding.
- Be mindful that several others may
follow a single deer near or across a road.
track of locations where deer have been seen in the past, to
avoid being surprised by deer crossing roads.
swerving into oncoming traffic or off the road if deer are
on the roadway. Instead, slow to a stop and wait for the
deer to move along.
- Drivers encountering deer on the
roadway should try flashing their headlights from bright to
dim or honking their horn to encourage the deer to move on.
- Drivers can alert other motorists to
the presence of deer by tapping their brakes.
involved in an accident involving a deer may take possession of
the animal. If the driver does not want it, any Illinois
resident may claim the deer. Anyone possessing the deer must
keep a personal record of the date the deer was claimed, the sex
of the animal, the location of the accident, and the place where
the deer or deer parts are stored. This information must be
kept until the deer is consumed or no longer in the possession
of any person. This information must be provided to any law
enforcement officer investigating the death and possession of
taking possession of vehicle-killed deer are not required to
phone in a report and obtain a registration number for the deer,
unless the deer is taken to a taxidermist or tannery. If the
deer is to be taken to a taxidermist or tannery, please call the
IDNR Office of Law Enforcement at (217) 782-6431 to obtain a
tag, before delivering the deer.