Illinois Vehicle Deer Crash Fatalities, Injuries
Decline; McHenry County Added to Top 10 List for Deer
IDOT, IDNR Urge Motorists to Drive Defensively and Be
Alert for Wildlife on Illinois Roads
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of
Transportation (IDOT) and the Illinois Department of
Natural Resources (IDNR) today announced that fatal
crashes, injuries and the number of motorists killed
in crashes involving deer declined in 2012. IDOT and
IDNR also reminded motorists to once again be alert
for deer along roadways during one of the most active
periods of the year for wildlife activity.
“As deer hunters gear up for firearm season, we want
to remind motorists to slow down, drive defensively,
obey posted speed limits, eliminate all distractions
and be especially alert for wildlife at night along
Illinois roadways,” Illinois Transportation Secretary
Ann L. Schneider said. “We are proud to see two
consecutive years with fewer fatal and injury motor
vehicle crashes involving deer, and we need your help
to ensure that number continues to drop.”
Motor vehicle crashes involving deer were responsible
for four fatalities in 2012, a decrease from six
fatalities in 2011. Injuries resulting from a motor
vehicle – deer crash decreased from 613 in 2011 to
608 in 2012.
The number of deer-vehicle crashes decreased
significantly to 15,489 in 2012, as compared to
18,044 in 2011.
The top 10 counties for collisions involving deer in
1. Cook – 460
2. Madison – 456
3. Peoria – 432
4. Will – 370
5. Fulton – 368
7. Lake - 333
8. Pike – 288
9. McHenry - 279
10. Kane - 276
Suggestions for motorists to avoid colliding with
• Be particularly cautious at dusk and dawn, when
deer are most active.
• Keep track of locations where deer have been
spotted in the past to avoid being surprised.
• Reduce speed and be prepared to stop, especially
near water, farm fields and wooded areas.
• Deer will cross the road and double back. Make sure
deer have moved away before proceeding.
• Be mindful that deer will follow each other. One
deer can mean others are nearby or close behind.
• Avoid swerving into traffic or off the road if deer
are on the roadway. Instead, slow to a stop and wait
for the deer to move along.
• Flashing the headlights and honking the car horn
will encourage deer to move off the road.
• Alert other motorists to the presence of deer by
tapping the brakes.
If a motor vehicle crash with involving a deer does
occur, drivers and passengers should provide
assistance to anyone injured. Contact local, county
or state law enforcement to report the incident. Do
not attempt to remove a dead or injured deer from the
roadway. Illinois law requires that all crashes
resulting in damage of at least $1,500 to be reported
An Illinois resident and driver of a motor vehicle
involved in a vehicle-deer collision has priority in
legally possessing white-tailed deer killed or
injured as a result of a collision with the vehicle.
If the driver does not take possession of the deer
before leaving the collision scene, any citizen of
Illinois who is not delinquent in child support may
possess and transport the deer.
Non-residents may not claim a road-killed deer.
Individuals claiming such a deer must report the
possession within 24 hours at www.dnr.illinois.gov.
Individuals without Internet access can report such
possession by calling (217) 782-6431 before 4:30 p.m.
the next business day. If any part of the deer is
going to be taken to a taxidermist or tannery, the
person making the online or phone report is required
to request a tag at the time of report.
This e-mail is a service of the State of Illinois.
If you have any questions about this e-mail or the
attached document, please contact the Illinois Office
of Communication and Information (IOCI), Room 611,
Stratton Office Building, Springfield, Illinois
62706, (217) 558-1548.