Illinois residents are no strangers to deer. Illinois has 4.4 million acres of forestland and if you live in the country or drive through the back lanes, you’re likely to see a few deer in fields or standing on the side of the road. Even if you’re a city person, all it takes is a drive through one of the state’s many forest or prairie preserves to see deer comfortably grazing nearby. The white-tailed deer is native to Illinois and is the state’s official animal.
It’s protected under Illinois’ wildlife code. As beautiful as these animals are, more than a few drivers have experienced hitting a deer. It’s a traumatic experience that not only hurts or kills the deer, it can total the car and injure the driver and passengers. If you are facing insurance issues afterwards, don’t delay contacting the right car crash attorneys to help file your insurance claim.
A driver can see deer year round, but the greatest risk of a collision is between October and December. These months are white-tail deer mating and migration season. The deers are on the move a lot in these months and drivers need to be extra vigilante. Spring time also brings with it an increase in deer-related crashes because the young fawns start to travel more.
Drivers are also more likely to hit a deer at dusk and dawn. Between 5 and 10 p.m. and then 5 to 8 a.m., the deer are particularly active.
Not every deer collision can be prevented, but there are numerous steps every driver can take to lower the risk, including:
If hitting a deer is unavoidable, don’t swerve. This can cause you to lose control of the car and cause a more significant accident.
If you hit a deer, pull to the side of the road to get out of the way of traffic. If you have any traffic cones, you should put them out to warn other drivers that you’re on the shoulder or that there is a deer in the road. Do not try and move the animal, and if it’s still alive, do not try and approach it. Injured and scared animals can be dangerous.
Illinois requires that drivers report deer accidents. If you are in an accident with the deer, even if it runs away, contact the authorities right away. You can call 911 to report the accident. Make sure to tell the dispatcher if the animal appears to be hurt, but officials will need to come.
Our car accident attorneys serve clients throughout the Chicago area, including Aurora, Elgin, Hinsdale, Joliet, Naperville, and Waukegan. If you have any insurance issues after hitting a deer, call the experienced car crash attorneys at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. right away at (312) 236-2900.