Illinois Transportation Secretary Announces
Fewer Injuries in Crashes Involving Deer
IDOT/IDNR Partner to Prepare Motorists for
Increased Deer Activity This Fall
SPRINGFIELD - Illinois Transportation Secretary Gary Hannig
announced today a significant reduction in injuries from crashes
involving deer statewide. The Illinois Department of
Transportation (IDOT) and Illinois Department of Natural
Resources (IDNR) partnered to remind motorists to be alert for
increased deer activity in the fall season.
Statistics show that the number of people injured in crashes has
decreased from 842 in 2007 to 752 in 2008 and 708 in 2009. Six
people were killed in Illinois in 2009, due to vehicle crashes
“The number of injuries resulting from crashes involving deer
has dropped significantly in the last few years and we want to
see that trend continue,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary
Gary Hannig. “Crashes involving deer are very difficult to
avoid, which is why we strongly urge motorists to slow down, be
alert and always wear a safety belt to help prevent injury or
even death. We also strongly encourage motorcyclists to wear a
helmet to help prevent injuries in crashes.”
Following 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
“As the leaves and temperatures drop in Illinois, motorists need
to be on the lookout for deer on the roadways, especially at
dawn and dusk when both drivers and deer are most active,” said
IDNR Director Marc Miller. “It’s everyone’s responsibility to
stay safe on the road. If you see a deer nearby, alert your
fellow motorists by gently tapping your brakes or flashing your
headlights. Help yourself and help each other this fall and
The top 10 Illinois counties for deer-vehicle crashes in 2009
Cook – 639
Peoria – 483
Madison – 478
Pike – 470
Fulton – 433
LaSalle – 409
Will – 401
Lake – 367
Kane – 361
Suggestions for motorists to avoid deer-vehicle crashes include:
- Be particularly cautious at dusk and dawn, when deer are
- 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
- Be mindful that several others may follow a single deer
near or across a road.
- Keep track of locations where deer have been seen in the
past, to avoid being surprised by deer crossing roads.
- Avoid 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.
A law regarding the reporting threshold for property damage
crashes was amended on January 1, 2009. The change in law
prevents an accurate comparison of 2009 and later data involving
total and property damage only crashes with such crashes
reported in previous years.
The amendment does not affect the reporting of injury or fatal
Under a newly implemented road kill policy, individuals who wish
to claim a deer killed in a vehicle collision must report the
possession of road-kill deer to the IDNR through the internet or
by phone. Individuals claiming road kill deer must report the
possession within 24 hours using the new online IDNR Road Kill
Deer Reporting Form, which can be found through this link on the
Possession may also be reported to the IDNR by calling (217)
782-6431 no later than 4:30 p.m. on the next business day.
Individuals involved in deer-vehicle accidents who do not want
to take possession of the deer are not required to file a report
with the IDNR.