deer road 100520EAST ST. LOUIS – With deer mating season comes an increased risk of deer-vehicle collisions, and State Senators Christopher Belt (D-Centreville) and Rachelle Crowe (D-Glen Carbon) remind Madison County motorists to stay alert while driving this fall. 

“It’s imperative for motorists to stay attentive this fall season, as deer are more active during autumn weather,” Belt said. “IDOT and the Department of Natural Resources provide helpful tips on how to prevent accidents involving deer, and I encourage Madison County residents to follow their advice.”

Madison County had 434 car crashes involving deer in 2019 – the second-highest of any Illinois county that year. In total, there were 16,213 deer-vehicle collisions throughout Illinois. Of these, 15,605 resulted in damage to property or vehicles, and 604 caused personal injuries. Four of the crashes were fatal. 

“As residents prepare for the upcoming hunting season, drivers must also pay special attention to the roadways for unexpected deer crossings,” Crowe said. “To make sure you’re ready to respond safely in the event of an encounter, I urge motorists to review and share IDNR’s precautions with their friends and family members.”

The Illinois Departments of Transportation and Natural Resources offer the following tips to help drivers avoid deer-related accidents this fall:

  • 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.

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.

For other information on wildlife and recreational safety education, visit the Illinois Department of Natural Resources