If you've lived in this part of the country for any length of time, you're probably well aware that this time of year can be dicey on the roads.

So dicey, in fact, that Illinois' Transportation Secretary, Omer Osman, has a slogan that he hopes will catch on and stick in your head:

Don't Veer For Deer.

Studies have shown that a driver's first instinct when they see a deer on the roadway is to swerve away from it. Osman and the Transportation Department want to point out that by swerving, you could lose control of your vehicle and actually increase the severity of an accident.

Osman and the Transportation Department urge motorists to be aware of surroundings and pay attention to deer-crossing signs. Watch roadsides for “eye shine” — deer eyes reflecting headlights. Prepare for the unexpected because deer travel in groups and might stop in a roadway. And if a collision is inevitable, avoid swerving into a lane with oncoming traffic.

There were more than 15,600 deer-vehicle crashes in Illinois last year.


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