Illinois crash fatalities, injuries involving deer decline
urge motorists to drive defensively and be alert for seasonal
wildlife activity along roadsides
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[November 02, 2012]
SPRINGFIELD -- The Illinois
Department of Transportation and Illinois Department of Natural
Resources announced this week that fatal crashes, injuries and the
number of motorists killed in accidents involving deer declined in
2011. IDOT and IDNR also reminded motorists to once again be alert
for deer along roadways during one of the most active periods of the
year for wildlife activity.
"Throughout the fall deer hunting season and into the winter months,
we strongly remind all motorists to please slow down, drive
defensively, obey posted speed limits and be especially alert for
wildlife at night along Illinois roadways," said Illinois
Transportation Secretary Ann L. Schneider. "We are pleased to report
the recent decline in fatal crashes involving deer, but much more
awareness and care are still needed to drive down the total number
of crashes and injuries due to these unfortunate circumstances."
Accidents involving deer were responsible for six fatalities in
2011, a decrease from 10 fatalities in 2010. Injuries because of an
accident involving a deer decreased from 634 in 2010 to 613 in 2011.
The number of deer-vehicle accidents slightly increased to 18,039
in 2011, as compared with 17,135 in 2010, but this represents an
overall decrease from 18,849 in 2009. About 3 in every 4 of the
deer-vehicle crashes occurred on rural roadways, and 71 percent
occurred at twilight or nighttime.
The top 10 counties for collisions
involving deer in 2011 were:
"Being a defensive driver is always a good idea, especially
during the fall and winter months when deer are most active in
Illinois. It's important to be on the lookout for deer throughout
the day, but certainly at dawn and dusk," said IDNR Director Marc
Miller. "Slow down, especially in areas where deer are likely to be
present, and keep a safe distance behind the car in front of you."
Suggestions for motorists to avoid
colliding with deer:
cautious at dusk and dawn, when deer are most active.
Keep track of
locations where deer have been spotted in the past, to avoid
Reduce speed and
be prepared to stop, especially near water, farm fields and
[to top of second column]
Deer will cross
the road and double back. Before proceeding, make sure deer have
Be mindful that
deer will follow each other. One deer can mean others are nearby
or close behind.
into traffic or off the road if deer are on the roadway.
Instead, slow to a stop and wait for the deer to move along.
headlights and honking the car horn will encourage deer to move
off the road.
Alert other motorists to the presence
of deer by tapping the brakes.
If an accident with a deer does occur, drivers and passengers
should provide assistance to anyone injured. Contact local, county
or state law enforcement to report the incident. Do not attempt to
remove a dead or injured deer from a busy roadway. Illinois law
requires that all accidents resulting in damage of at least $1,500
be reported to police.
An Illinois-resident driver of a motor vehicle involved in a
vehicle-deer collision has priority in legally possessing
white-tailed deer killed or injured as a result of a collision with
the vehicle. If the driver does not take possession of the deer
before leaving the collision scene, any citizen of Illinois who is
not delinquent in child support may possess and transport the deer.
Nonresidents may not claim a road-killed deer.
Individuals claiming such a deer must
report the possession within 24 hours at
Individuals without Internet access can report such possession by
calling 217-782-6431 before 4:30 p.m. the next business day. If any
part of the deer is going to be taken to a taxidermist or tannery,
the person making the online or phone report is required to request
a tag at the time of report.
Illinois Department of
Transportation file received from the
Illinois Office of
Communication and Information]