Illinois vehicle crashes involving deer still
on the decline
IDOT, IDNR urge motorists to
drive defensively, stay alert for seasonal wildlife activity on Illinois
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[November 15, 2014]
– The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and Illinois
Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) today announced that crashes
involving deer are still on the decline in Illinois. Data reveals a
one percent decline in motor vehicle vs. deer crashes, from 15,495
in 2012 to 15,334 in 2013.
The number of deer-vehicle crashes that resulted in property
damage only decreased to 14,811 in 2013 compared to 14,969 in 2012.
Accidents involving deer were responsible for six fatalities in
2013, an increase from four fatalities in 2012. Although the number
of crashes resulting in injuries declined slightly in 2013 compared
to 2012, the number of injuries resulting from these motor vehicle
crashes involving a deer increased from 608 in 2012 to 617 in 2013.
About four in every five crashes occurred on rural roadways and
almost 80 percent occurred at twilight or nighttime.
Despite the decline in the number of deer-vehicle accidents, IDOT
and IDNR want to remind motorists to be alert for deer along
roadways during one of the most active periods of the year for
wildlife activity. Approximately 40 to 50 percent of all accidents
involving deer in a typical year occur during the months of October,
November, and December – with November being the highest-risk month.
The top 10 counties for collisions involving deer in 2013 were:
- Madison - 432
- Cook - 426
- Will – 373
- Peoria - 372
- Lake - 352
- Fulton - 342
- Sangamon - 323
- Kane - 311
- Pike - 297
- Rock Island – 297
Suggestions for motorists to avoid colliding with deer
- Be particularly cautious at dusk and dawn, when deer are
- Keep track of locations where deer have been spotted in
the past to avoid being surprised.
- Reduce speed and be prepared to stop, especially near
water, farm fields and wooded areas.
- Deer will cross the road and double back. Make sure deer
have moved away before proceeding.
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- Be mindful that deer will follow each other. One deer
can mean others are nearby or close behind.
- Avoid swerving 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.
- Flashing the headlights and honking the car horn will
encourage deer to move off the road.
- Alert other motorists to the presence of deer by tapping
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 to be
reported to police.
The driver involved in the accident may take possession of
the animal. If the driver does not want it, any Illinois
resident can claim the deer. Those taking possession of the
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 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 also must be provided to any law
enforcement officer investigating the death and possession
of the deer.
[Illinois Department of