Deer played a role in more than 18,000 car crashes in Illinois last year. (Photo courtesy flickr)
By Jim Anderson
Illinois had 18,039 car-vs.-deer crashes last year. This figure is up from 17,185 in 2010, but down from 2009 (18,849), according to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
Fatalities fell from 10 in 2010 to six last year, and injuries from 634 to 613.
This is the time of year for drivers to be careful, because deer are moving about, says Tom Micetich, deer project manager for the Department of Natural Resources, based in Havana. “The deer breeding season gets deer moving around quite a little bit. The boys are chasing the girls around and neither one of ‘em have ever looked both ways before they cross the street, and they’re paying less attention now,” he said.
Also at this time of year, the main commuting hours are around dawn and dusk, when deer are active.
Top counties for crashes with deer in 2011: Cook (554), Madison (472), Peoria (435), Will (422), Fulton (417), Sangamon (410), Kane (395), Pike (362), Lake (360), LaSalle (339).