The Illinois Department of Transportation and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources are reminding drivers that deer mating season is here, which means deer become more active and pose a danger on roadways.
In 2021, more than 42 percent of crashes involving deer in Illinois occurred in October, November, and December. November was the highest-risk month. While crashes can happen anywhere, rural environments were the site of more than 72 percent of all motor vehicle crashes involving deer, with more than 71 percent occurring at twilight or nighttime.
Safe driving tips for deer mating season include:
- 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.
- If a collision is inevitable, don’t veer. Try to glance your vehicle off the deer and avoid swerving into the opposite lanes of traffic or off the road.
If you hit a deer, pull off to the shoulder, turn on your hazard lights and call 911 to report the accident. Do not exit the vehicle to check on an injured deer or pull it from the road.