Press Release Date:
October 21, 2003
|| Archived December 30, 2003
SPRINGFIELD, IL – If this hasn’t happened to you it might. On a peaceful fall night while driving along, a deer suddenly leaps out in front of your car. This scenario is repeated throughout Illinois more than 22,000 times a year when deer are involved in traffic crashes.
In an effort to help the motoring public be better prepared in case this startling event happens to them, the Illinois State Police offers the following:
Most of the serious crashes involving deer result in the evasive maneuver by the driver in an attempt to miss the deer, resulting in either a head-on crash with another vehicle or fixed object which can cause extensive injury or death. Actually striking the deer can severely damage the automobile, but the occupants routinely remain uninjured.
The best driving response is to avoid the animal by steering or braking while remaining within your traffic lane or shoulder. Further evasive maneuvering can be dangerous.
Motorists frequently see deer in proximity of the roadway but do not prepare for evasive action until the deer suddenly bolts onto the roadway.
Except for their eyes, deer are non-reflective. Non-reflective material is visible with low beam headlights at 100 feet. At 55 miles per hour, a driver is traveling at 80 feet per second. The average perception/reaction time is one and a half seconds. The driver will see the deer with insufficient time to react to it.
Low lying areas, wooded areas close to roadways, and cultivated fields are frequent locations for deer vs car crashes.
Motorists should be extremely careful during this time of year in rural and metro areas as a car-deer crash can happen almost anywhere.