Statistics show that in 2008, there were 24,212 deer-vehicle crashes
reported in Illinois. Thatís 814 fewer crashes than in 2007. The
number of people injured in these crashes also decreased, from 928
in 2006 to 843 in 2007 and 758 in 2008. Two people were killed in
Illinois in 2008 due to vehicle crashes involving deer.
involving deer are very difficult to avoid, which is why we strongly
urge motorists to be alert and buckle up and motorcyclists to wear a
helmet to help prevent injury or death," Hannig said. "The fatal
crashes involving deer have dropped significantly in the last year,
and we want to continue to see that number decrease, but we need
Following standard safety practices can save lives in the event
of crashes involving deer. A nationwide study conducted by the
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety showed that in these crashes,
60 percent of the people killed while riding in vehicles were not
wearing seat belts, and 65 percent of motorcyclists killed were not
"Deer are most active during dawn and dusk, and that means
motorists need to be on alert, especially when driving to and from
work," said IDNR Director Marc Miller. "Keep a mental log of places
you drive where deer are seen regularly, and slow down in those
areas. And if you see one deer cross the road, always assume there
are more to follow."
The top 10 Illinois counties for
deer-vehicle accidents in 2008 were:
Suggestions for motorists to avoid deer-vehicle accidents:
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.
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Keep track of
locations where deer have been seen in the past. This will help
to avoid being surprised by deer crossing roads.
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, call the IDNR Office of Law
Enforcement at 217-782-6431 to obtain a tag before delivering the
Department of Transportation
file received from
Illinois Office of
Communication and Information]