cautions motorists during deer season
Send a link to a friend
[October 15, 2008]
SPRINGFIELD -- The fall season
is here and the Illinois Department of Transportation and the
Illinois Department of Natural Resources remind motorists that deer
are more active during the fall, which increases the likelihood of
vehicle crashes involving deer. Fall is the busiest season for these
crashes, as deer seek mates and food sources.
Statistics show that in 2007, there were 25,006 deer-vehicle crashes
reported in Illinois, down almost 2 percent from the 25,490 reported
the previous year. The number of people injured in these crashes
also decreased, from 938 in 2006 to 846 in 2007. Five people were
killed in Illinois in 2007 due to a vehicle crash involving a deer.
That number increased from the one fatality reported in 2006.
"We are doing our
part to help reduce the number of fatalities on Illinois roadways,
and motorists can assist us by simply being more alert," said Milton
R. Sees, secretary of the Department of Transportation. "It's also
important that drivers buckle up and motorcyclists wear helmets to
prevent injury or death."
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 percent of people killed
riding in vehicles were not wearing seat belts, and 65 percent of
motorcyclists killed were not wearing helmets.
"Deer are most active at dawn and dusk, and we ask that motorists
have a heightened sense of awareness especially during these times,"
said Sam Flood, acting director of the Department of Natural
Resources. "Motorists should also be aware that if they see a deer
crossing the road, there are likely more to follow. Don't assume it
is safe to speed up after one deer crosses your path."
The top 10 Illinois counties for
deer-vehicle accidents in 2007 were:
Suggestions for motorists to avoid
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. Before
proceeding, make sure deer have moved away.
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. This will help
avoid being surprised by deer crossing roads.
[to top of second column]
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
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.
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 police.
The driver 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 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 IDNR Office
of Law Enforcement at 217-782-6431 to obtain a tag before delivering
Department of Transportation
file received from
Illinois Office of
Communication and Information]