It's something you never see coming. One minute you're driving down the road, then the next a deer runs right across the street. The Illinois Department of Transportation and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources are asking people to be on alert for deer now more than ever.
It's something that can happen in an instant. One minute you're driving, the next you could have an accident. And Chris Walsh knows how quick you can hit a deer.
"It was raining and had cars coming towards me and had it walk right out in front of me. Couldn't see him. He was in the glare so I couldn't really see him and totaled out the car. Within a blink of an eye, you can be right there," Walsh said.
Walsh has hit 2 deer in the Tri-State Area resulting in about nine thousand dollars worth of damage.
It doesn't matter if you're driving a rural road during the day or a busy highway at night, you can hit a deer at anytime. In fact, Pike County was in the top ten counties in Illinois last year in terms of how many deer and vehicle collisions they've had.
But Pike County Corporal Matt Frazier says more deer are out now than before because it's the peak mating season meaning deer will be travel far and wide, including across the road. But he's optimistic they won't have as many accidents in Pike County this year.
"I know that we've had some deer disease throughout the county and with the drought. Could possibly have an affect on the deer herd. But we're still getting our fair share of deer accidents," Frazier said.
However Walsh says people can avoid what happened to him by keeping their eyes on the road and if you ever find yourself staring down a deer, don't try to get out of the way.
"Definitely do not swerve if one comes out in front of you. That will do a lot more damage than good. If you're going to hit it, you're going to hit it. Trying to swerve to avoid it, it's definitely going to do a lot more damage," Walsh said.
So far, the Pike County Police and the Illinois State Patrol say they've seen about 300 collisions between deer and vehicles. Last year, the total was more than 360.
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