Mating season means more Illinois auto crashes with deer


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois motorists should beware of more deer activity this time of year, particularly at dawn and dusk.

Officials from the Illinois Departments of Natural Resources and Transportation note that it’s deer mating season, meaning more deer will be on the move — and crossing roads.

Transportation Secretary Omer Osman urges motorists to be watchful and remember the 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,” Osman said in a statement.

Officials say motorists should be aware of their surroundings, especially in areas marked with deer crossing signs. They should scan the roadside for “eye shine,” the reflection of headlights in the animals’ eyes.

And when a deer is spotted, slow down. They travel in groups, so more are likely nearby.

Illinois recorded more than 16,200 crashes involving deer last year. Of these, 15,600 resulted in damage to property or vehicles. Nearly 4% caused personal injuries and four were fatal.

More than 40% of crashes occurred in October, November and December, with the most being reported in November.