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Deer Safety

It can happen in the blink of an eye. You're driving without a care in the world, when suddenly a flash from the corner of your eye. In an instant a deer has bolted into the road in front of you. It can be terrifying. Even the best drivers can have a collision with a deer. According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, there were over 15,350 deer collisions in the state resulting in four fatalities. There are some steps you can take to be safe during deer season:.

1. Be watchful. Deer usually travel in groups…so if you see a deer cross the road, be on the look-out because others may be out of view and likely to follow. Over half of the number of deer collisions in Illinois happen during deer mating season, between October and January. Be extra-careful around dawn and dusk when deer are most likely on the move. 80% of deer collisions happen on rural roads during twilight or at night. 

 2. Slow down. Especially when you see those "Deer Crossing" signs. They weren't put there for decoration! And be prepared to stop. By keeping your speed under control, the more braking time you'll have if a deer steps out onto the road in front of you. 

 3. Stay cool. Think about what you would do if a deer suddenly darted across the road in front of your vehicle. By practicing on keeping a cool head, you'll be more likely to react the right way if it should happen for real. 

 4. Stay in your lane. If you see a deer, the experts recommend you do not swerve to miss it. Rather, you should apply your brakes and stay in your lane. If you swerve, you could lose control of your vehicle or suddenly turn into oncoming traffic. 

 5. Use your horn! Experts also recommend that if you do see deer on or alongside the road and there are no vehicles close behind you, slow down, honk your horn in short bursts and flash your lights. That is usually enough to scare deer off the roadway.