‘Tis the season to be jolly…unless you are stuck in traffic, cut off by an impatient driver, or endlessly circling the mall parking lot.
While the holidays are generally an exciting time, they are also the busiest time of the year. Whether it is a celebratory outing, appointments, or shopping, the result is more congestion on our roadways and in parking lots. This can lead to stress, frustration, and road rage. Even something as simple as a cutting off another vehicle in traffic or tailgating can be enough to send some drivers into a rage.
Here are some safety tips to keep in mind as you venture out this holiday season.
Avoid distractions of any kind.
Remain alert at all times.
Adjust your driving for inclement weather; allow for more time to get where you are going.
Don’t tailgate. Maintain a safe distance between you and the car in front of you.
Avoid making frequent or last-minute lane changes and avoid cutting people off.
Don’t rely solely on backup cameras. Before backing out, you should still turn your head to survey the area around you.
Pack your patience. You may feel stressed around the holidays but keep your temper in check and remain calm in tense situations.
In Parking Lots
If you need to go out at night, go with someone else and park in a well-lit area.
Be especially vigilant for moving vehicles.
If shopping alone, walk to the parking lot amongst others. Have your keys out and stay alert.
Always check inside the car before entering. Lock your doors as soon as you are inside the vehicle.
While walking, watch for drivers backing out of parking spots who are not paying attention.
Parking further away makes it easier to back out because there will be fewer cars and pedestrian traffic.
Try to avoid parking between two large vehicles, like SUVs. It can be difficult to see pedestrians and other cars coming when trying to back out.
The hustle and bustle of shopping will often result in carelessness and vulnerability to theft. Criminals use the holidays to target preoccupied shoppers.
Shop during daylight hours whenever possible to further reduce road and parking lot risks and to maximize ‘crowd safety.’
Pay attention. Distracted shoppers are easy targets for theft.
Always carry a cell phone.
Be mindful of strangers approaching you. Con-artists often work in pairs; while one distracts you the other takes your money, belongings, or car keys.
Never leave your purse or wallet open or unattended. Never carry a lot of money.
Avoid overloading yourself with packages. Always have one hand free.
Do not leave valuables or shopping bags visible in your car.
If you are one that prefers shopping online, remember that it, too, is a breeding grown for criminals.
Never use third-party sites and non-secured sites. If the price is too good to be true, it probably is.
Track delivery of packages to make sure they are not left unattended on your porch.
Be mindful that criminals sometimes pose as couriers delivering packages. Always ask for identification.
Be sure to share this post with family and friends to help keep them safe as well.