|Statewide crashes involving deer decline|
|Written by Katie Klein, Daily Vidette Reporter|
|Monday, 07 November 2011 21:04|
The Illinois Department of Transportation and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources announced in late October that crashes between vehicles and deer declined in the year 2010.
There were 17,135 deer-vehicle accidents reported last year, almost 2,000 less from 2009, and the lowest total in over ten years.
Creating awareness has been one of the key factors in the decline, explained Josh Kauffman, IDOT spokesperson.
“IDOT had partnered with IDNR to help educate drivers during the fall season when deer really start to move around a lot,” Kauffman said.
According to IDOT’s website, accidents involving deer were responsible for 10 fatalities last year, which is a slight increase from 2009. Injuries involving collisions with deer decreased from 708 in 2009 to 634 in 2010.
“The encouraging news is that collisions with deer in Illinois continue to decline. We remind all motorists to take the proper steps so the trend continues,” Ann Schneider, acting transportation secretary, said in an IDOT news release.
The top three counties for deer related accidents in 2010 were Peoria with 458 accidents, Madison with 475 and Cook with 562 collisions.
Cook County has an extensive road map, explained Kauffman, which easily makes it one of the top counties for deer-related accidents.
“It’s always a good idea to get yourself in a defensive driving frame of mind at this time of year when deer are most active,” Marc Miller, IDNR director, said in the news release.
IDOT includes tips for motorists on its website that include staying cautious at dusk and dawn, keeping track of area where deer are usually spotted and flashing headlights and honking the horn to encourage the deer to move.
If an accident involving deer does take place, the driver should contact local, county or state law enforcement to report the incident.
By law, Illinois requires all accidents resulting in at least $1,500 in damages to be reported to police.
Those involved in an accident can take possession of the deer without having to obtain a tag only if the animal is not taken to a taxidermist or tannery.
If a driver decides to keep the deer, they must keep a personal record of the date the animal was claimed, the sex of the deer, where the collision took place and the place where the deer or deer parts are being stored.
This information must be provided to investigating law enforcement that are looking into the accident.
For more information and tips on how to avoid vehicle-deer collisions, visit dot.state.il.us.