Motorists are urged to keep an eye out for deer along roadways, particularly in rural areas and forest preserve sites.
The bad news is that there were 311 deer-related crashes in Kane County last year and more than 15,000 in Illinois overall.
The good news is that deer-related crashes in Illinois are on the decline.
The Illinois Department of Transportation and Illinois Department of Natural Resources today announced that crashes involving deer decreased by about one percent year over year, from 15,495 in 2012 to 15,334 in 2013.
The number of deer-vehicle crashes that resulted in property damage decreased to 14,811 in 2013 compared to 14,969 in 2012.
Sadly, there’s a little more bad news, as well. 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 are reminding motorists to be alert for deer along roadways during one of the most active periods of the year for wildlife activity. About 40 percent 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 include:
* Be particularly cautious at dusk and dawn, when deer are most active.
* 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.
* 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 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 to be reported to police.
One rather unusual proviso is that 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, call the IDNR Office of Law Enforcement at (217) 782-6431 to obtain a tag before delivering the deer.
–News Bulletin news sources