between vehicles and deer occur throughout the year, but deer are
more active during the fall, and motorists on country roads,
interstate highways and even urban thoroughfares need to be on the
lookout," said Joel Brunsvold, director of the Department of Natural
Resources. "Be especially cautious near areas where deer are likely
to be present, such as wooded areas, stream and creek beds, farm
field edges, and parks or forest preserves."
Last year 25,660 deer-vehicle accidents
were reported in the state, up from 23,645 the year before,
according to statistics compiled by the Illinois Department of
Transportation. The number of deer-vehicle collisions has risen in
five of the last six years.
"Wild deer are found everywhere in
Illinois, and with more and more vehicles on the road, especially
during busy commuting times in the morning and evening when deer are
most active, drivers should slow down and be cautious," said Timothy
W. Martin, secretary of the Illinois Department of Transportation.
10 Illinois counties for deer-vehicle accidents in 2003 were:
- Cook, 918
- Pike, 669
- Lake, 627
- McHenry, 603
- Sangamon, 597
- Kane, 557
- Will, 549
- Madison, 540
- Peoria, 508
- LaSalle, 480
suggestions for motorists to avoid deer-vehicle accidents:
- Be especially cautious at dusk
through the early evening and in the hours before sunrise when
deer are most active.
- Keep track of locations where
deer have been seen in the past to avoid being surprised by deer
- Reduce speed and be prepared to
stop on roads where deer may be present, especially areas near
streams or rivers, farm field edges, wooded and densely vegetated
- Be mindful that several others
may follow a single deer near a road.
- Deer may cross the roadway and
double back across the road. Make sure deer have moved away before
[to top of second column in
- Drivers encountering deer on the
roadway should try flashing their headlights from bright to dim or
honking the horn on their vehicle to try to encourage the deer to
- Alert other motorists to the
presence of deer by tapping the brakes.
- Avoid swerving into oncoming
traffic or off the road if deer are on the roadway. Slow to a stop
and wait for the deer to move along.
If a 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 the
The driver involved in an accident
involving a deer may take possession of the deer. If the driver does
not want the deer, any Illinois resident may claim the animal.
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 the deer.
Those 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 Office of Law Enforcement of the
Illinois Department of Natural Resources at (217) 782-6431 to obtain
a tag before delivering the deer.
Department of Transportation news release]