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The Illinois Department of Transportation and Illinois Department of Natural Resources are reminding motorists that autumn is accompanied by deer mating season in Illinois. During this time of year, deer become especially active, mainly at dawn and dusk from October through December.

To stay safe on the road:

• Be aware of your surroundings, especially in areas with deer crossing signs.

• Scan the sides of the road for eye shine – the reflection of headlights in their eyes.

• Slow down if you see a deer. They travel in groups, so more are likely nearby.

• Prepare for the unexpected. Deer may stop in the middle of the road or double back.

• If a collision is inevitable, try to glance your vehicle off the deer and avoid swerving into the opposite lanes of traffic.

In 2020, 13,787 motor vehicle crashes involved deer in Illinois. Of these, 13,166 resulted in damage to property or vehicles, while 611 caused personal injuries. Ten of the crashes resulted in fatalities. If you hit a deer, pull off to the shoulder, turn on your hazard lights and call 911 to report the accident. Do not exit the vehicle to check on an injured deer or pull it from the road.