The Illinois Department of Transportation, Illinois Department of Natural Resources, and Illinois State Police today reminded motorists that this is the time of year to be on high alert for deer on Illinois roads.
The latest statistics show that motor vehicle crashes involving deer increased slightly in Illinois last year: 15,356 crashes in 2014, compared to 15,334 crashes in 2013. There were 14,847 crashes that resulted in property damage only in 2014, compared to 14,811 in 2013.
Despite the increases, there were fewer fatalities resulting from crashes involving deer: four fatalities in 2014, down from six fatalities in 2013. The number of injuries in motor vehicle crashes involving deer also declined, from 617 in 2013 to 570 in 2014.
On average, nearly half of all crashes involving deer in Illinois happen in October, November, and December. Approximately 80 percent of crashes involving deer happen on rural roads at twilight or nighttime.
Tips for avoiding collisions with deer include:
• Reduce your speed near water, farm fields, and wooded areas; be prepared to stop.
• Deer will often cross roads and double back; make sure deer have moved away from the road before proceeding.
• If you see one deer, be aware that others may be close behind.
• Alert other motorists to the presence of deer by tapping your brakes.
• Don’t swerve into traffic or off the road if you see a deer; instead, slow to a stop.