Drivers urged to take extra caution for deer

The risk for deer vs. vehicle crashes greatly increases in October, November and December, especially at dusk and dawn. (Photo courtesy of IDNR)

The Illinois Department of Transportation and Illinois Department of Natural Resources are reminding you to watch out for deer. With autumn comes deer mating season, a time of increased activity at dawn and dusk from October through December.

“We are starting to begin our peak season for deer-vehicle crashes,” said Acting Illinois Transportation Secretary Omer Osman. “We ask all drivers to keep a watchful eye and remember the cardinal rule: don’t veer for deer. While the urge to swerve is instinctual, it could cause you to lose control of your vehicle or drive into oncoming traffic, increasing the severity of a crash.”

This fall, take the following steps to help ensure your safety:

  • Be aware of your surroundings, especially in areas with deer crossing signs.
  • Scan the sides of the road for eye shine – the reflection of headlights in their eyes.
  • Slow down if you see a deer. They travel in groups, so more are likely nearby.
  • Prepare for the unexpected. Deer may stop in the middle of the road or double back.
  • Deer are adaptable and can flourish in rural, suburban and urban environments.
  • If a collision is inevitable, try to glance your vehicle off the deer and avoid swerving into opposite lanes of traffic.