CENTRAL ILLINOIS — As fall weather sets in, many animals are on the move, including deer. IDOT and IDNR say this is the time of year drivers need to keep an eye out for them.
They say deer are more prevalent this time of year. One reason is because fall is their mating season. It means increased movement, especially at dawn and dusk.
Officials say about 40 – 45% of last year’s deer-involved crashes in the state happened in the fall, with November being the highest number. About 80% happened in rural environments.
Workers at one collision repair shop, in Champaign, say it’s no surprise. The owner says a lot of accidents happen during and after harvest.
Last year, there were more than 15,700 accidents involving deer; up 2.5% from the previous year.
Drivers are encouraged to be aware of their surroundings and proceed with caution. If you think there’s any way around hitting a deer, experts say try to glance off it and avoid changing lanes.
If you do hit a deer, pull over to the side of the road with your hazard lights on. Call 911 and do not get out of your vehicle to check on the deer or pull it off the road.