Steer clear of hitting deer


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Peoria (WEEK) – Hitting a deer could cost you big bucks. The autumn season is also deer mating season in Illinois, and deer become more active, especially during dawn and dusk.

Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) stated that “In 2020, nearly 14 thousand accidents involved a deer, and 95 percent resulted in property or vehicle damage. More than 600 people were hurt, and 10 people died. Peoria County was ranked 5th out of the top 10 Illinois counties that have crashes involving deer.

The State of Illinois also provided this statistic: “More than 43% of crashes involving deer in Illinois occurred in October, November and December, with November being the highest-risk month. Rural environments were the site of more than 62% of all motor vehicle crashes involving deer, with more than 72% occurring at twilight or nighttime.”

Deer can suddenly appear on the roadways quickly and freeze up from seeing your headlights. Illinois State Trooper Joshua Korando said, “Deer are almost… we’ll call it mesmerized by a steady beam headlight. They will literally stop in the middle of the road and stare at your headlights like they’re frozen, they can’t move. So we suggest you flash your lights, honk your horn, something to snap them out of it.”

IDOT Spokesperson Paul Wappel also said, “Please remember don’t veer for deer. It could cause you to lose control of your vehicle and increase the severity of a crash. If you do hit a deer, pull over to the shoulder of the road, do not get out of your vehicle… and call 9-1-1.”  Deer usually travel in groups, so if you see one, slow down because you will likely see another.

Insurance should cover actual collisions with a deer, but if you swerve away and then crash, you could be at fault, meaning insurance may not cover your damage.

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