I'm sure I'm not alone in this statement, but I have been lucky enough to avoid several deer darting out across the road in our wonderful county. It's just going to happen this time of year.

To add to that, deer mating season is ongoing, and will last until the end of December. What does that mean? Male deer need some loving too - and they will be looking to make some moves before the mating season comes to an end.

The holiday season in the Berkshires will be full of events all over the county. While following these steps will lower the risk of hitting a deer, it doesn't shut the door on avoiding it from happening. Here are some helpful tips according to the Insurance Information Institute.

  • Be especially attentive during peak deer hours. From sunset to midnight and during the hours shortly before and after sunrise are the highest risk times for deer-vehicle collisions
  • Use extra caution when driving through deer-crossing zones. Also be especially careful in places known to have a large deer population and in areas where roads divide agricultural fields from forestland.
  • Know that deer seldom run alone. If you see one deer, others may be nearby.
  • Use high beam headlights if driving at night, when there is no oncoming traffic. The higher light will better illuminate the eyes of deer on or near the roadway.
  • Slow down and blow your horn with one long blast to frighten the deer away.
  • Brake firmly but stay in your lane when you notice a deer in or near your path. Many serious crashes occur when drivers swerve to avoid a deer and hit another vehicle or lose control of their cars.
  • Always wear your seat belt. Most people injured in car-deer crashes were not wearing their seat belt.
  • Do not rely on deer-deterring devices. Deer whistles, deer fences and reflectors have not been proven to reduce deer-vehicle collisions.
  • If your vehicle strikes a deer, do not touch the animal. A frightened and wounded deer can hurt you or further injure itself. The best procedure is to get your car off the road, if possible, and call the police.
  • In the event a deer damages your car contact your insurance agent or company representative to report the incident.

Enjoy the holiday festivities across the Berkshires and make sure to do it safely.

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