It's peak deer collision season in Illinois, and when you encounter one while driving there is one important thing you must remember to never do!

Deer Sightings in Illinois

Where I live, seeing deer on my way to and from anywhere is a regular occurrence, especially in the fall. I've learned to slow down in places where deer like to cross the road, and I've had more close calls than I'd like to think about.


Deer mating season takes place from October through December, and during this time deer are most active at dawn and dusk, so keep your eyes peeled when you're behind the wheel!

Ways to Avoid Hitting a Deer

Anyone who has ever sat behind the wheel of a car should know there are certain things you can do to avoid hitting a deer while driving:

  • Watch closely for reflecting eyes on the side of the road, especially when you see deer crossing signs.
  • Honk your horn in short bursts and flash your brights if you encounter a deer in the road.
  • Slow down when you see a deer because more are likely following it.
Illinois State Police via Facebook
Illinois State Police via Facebook

Now let's get to the most important thing to remember when encountering a deer on the road; if you know you're going to hit it, DON'T SWERVE!

A press release from the Illinois Department of Transporation says;

 Try to glance your vehicle off the deer and avoid swerving into the opposite lanes of traffic or off the road.

Instinct may tell you to slam the steering wheel to the right or left, but swerving into a ditch, or worse yet, another lane of traffic can have far more tragic consequences than slowing down and continuing straight will.

With so many deer running throughout Illinois, hitting one while driving is almost inevitable, even for the most cautious of drivers. If you're wondering what to do if you do hit a deer on the road, here's some helpful information from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

RELATED: Here Are the Odds of Hitting a Deer in Illinois

LOOK: Here are the states where you are most likely to hit an animal

Hitting an animal while driving is a frightening experience, and this list ranks all 50 states in order of the likelihood of such incidents happening, in addition to providing tips on how to avoid them.

Gallery Credit: Dom DiFurio & Jacob Osborn

LOOK: These are the highways in Illinois with the most fatalities.

Stacker compiled a list of highways with the most fatal crashes in Illinois using the Fatality Analysis Reporting System.

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