Cagle Law Firm
Attorney Zane Cagle

Posted on March 28th, 2016,
by Zane Cagle

Driver Crashes in Jo Daviess County Avoiding Deer

Posted on March 28th, 2016 by Zane Cagle

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Illinois: A single car crashed on West Council Hill Road near Council Ridge Road a little after 10:30 p.m. on Sunday according to Jo Daviess County Sheriff’s Office.  The Iowa driver was headed eastbound on W. Council Hill Road when he swerved to avoid hitting a deer. His car went off the roadway and hit a tree.  The driver was injured and taken to a nearby hospital.

What the Experts Say About Traveling in Deer Areas

If you live in the Midwest, chances are you have come across deer in the roadway. It is our national reaction to try to avoid anything in the roadway. However, the Insurance Information Institute recommends if you are driving at night, it is important to use high beam lights when no other cars are around.  Also, the III said drivers should “Brake firmly when you notice a deer in or near your path, but stay in your lane. Many serious crashes occur when drivers swerve to avoid a deer and hit another vehicle or lose control of their cars.”

Recommendations from the Illinois Department of Transportation

While we have written several articles about deer-related crashes in the busy months of October through December when deer are more on the move, deer can be in the roadway year round especially in the rural and suburban areas of Missouri and Illinois

Illinois Department of Transportation recommends the following:

  • Reduce your speed in areas where deer pass. If you see one deer, be sure you are going slow as there are apt to be several
  • If you are about to hit a deer, it is better to “drive through” the animal rather than swerve to avoid hitting it.
  • Apply brakes rapidly and hold tight to the steering wheel and if you cannot avoid the deer, drive straight through it.

While none of us want to kill another living thing, deer-related crashes can be very serious in nature, primarily because drivers try to swerve and avoid the deer thus they hit oncoming cars or lose control of their vehicle and hit other objects. Experts agree it is better to strike the deer rather than swerve which is a driver’s first instinct. Swerving to avoid hitting a deer can result in head-on collisions with other vehicles which are usually significantly more dangerous and deadly.

If You Cannot Avoid a Deer by Slowing Down…

If a deer darts out in front of you, statistically, you stand a much better chance of avoiding injury if you hit the deer (same goes for other wildlife).  Yes, a hitting a deer can cause tremendous amounts of property damage, but property can be replaced.  There are no guarantees that hitting the deer will not result in an injury to yourself or other occupants, so if you can slow down enough to avoid hitting the animal, that is the better solution. However, when you are faced with a choice, troopers suggest hitting the animal rather than swerving.  Losing control of your vehicle or striking another car can be quite a bit more dangerous and statistically, deer-related crashes have caused far more injuries as a result of drivers swerving rather than hitting the deer.

Deer Crash Statistics in Illinois

In 2013, there were 15,334 crashes involving deer. Actual deer crashes account for about 5.4 percent of the total crashes.  During daylight hours, there were approximately 19.8 percent of the deer crashes, but 68.2 percent of the crashes occurred in darkness. Approximately 87.0 percent of deer crashes occurred on rural roadways, with 1.427 of these crashes on state routes.. There were six fatal crashes, and 617 people injured in 2013.

 If You’ve Been Involved in a Motor Vehicle Crash

If you’ve been injured in a motor vehicle crash, you will more than likely need legal assistance. Our attorneys know how difficult it can be trying to concentrate on your injures and getting better only to have to sort through negotiations with insurance companies and wondering if you were offered a fair amount.  I have written several blogs about the  first things to do following  a car crash.

We are available seven days a week to answer your questions and consultations are always free, toll free 1.800.685.3302 or locally 314. 276.1681