Parking Lot Safety Tips For Surviving The Last Of The Holidays

If you’ve made it this far, then you’ve almost survived another year of holiday shopping. Of course, there are still a few days to go after December 25 with returns and gift card shopping binges being of concern, but congratulations: you’re almost there!

With perhaps the most hectic hours yet to come, there are some safety precautions that you’ll need to take in the event that you find yourself out at the malls and shopping centers finishing up purchases, returning Christmas presents, or unloading your card-money. Here’s what you need to know.

One: Thieves Flock To The Easiest Target, And During The Holidays, It Isn’t Always The Most Obvious.

While Lamborghinis, Mustangs, and Chargers might draw attention to themselves during the normal part of the year, parking lot prowlers are more concerned with what’s inside the car than the automobile itself. Leaving high-dollar items in plain view can be the honey that draws the bees to your mobile nest. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), more than 400,000 thefts occur annually in parking lots or garages, so it pays to hide those packages in a trunk or under something of minimal value if you have to leave your car unattended. You should also consider installing an alarm system. As for a steering wheel lock or boot, those can be useful to keep your car from being stolen, but they won’t stop a thief from smashing a window and grabbing what’s inside. http://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=tp&tid=44

Two: You Can Never Check Behind You Too Much When Backing Out Of A Parking Space.

When backing out of or looking for a parking space, the best rule to follow is the one that assumes you’re the only driver in the entire lot who is paying any attention to what they’re doing. You cannot afford to believe that a parent will keep their pint-sized toddler from running behind your car, or that the person backing out on the opposite row is watching to see if you’re doing the same exact thing. According to this info graphic from AutoPartsWarehouse.com, 13 percent of Nationwide’s 2012 car accident claims occurred in a parking lot area, while Progressive reported 25 percent on or after Black Friday. http://blog.autopartswarehouse.com/2013/10/parking-lot-accidents-prevent-infographic/

Three: Breathe A Little Deeper.

In a recent article on Huffington Post, several states reported incidents of violence related to Black Friday holiday shopping. If you’ve been out of the house in the last month, then you know firsthand that some people are a bit ruder, more self-involved, and lacking in holiday spirit. Don’t be one of them. While there may be a temptation to slug the person, who tried to cut in front of you, you do NOT want to end up on the evening news or being leered at as “one of those people” on social media. Take more deep breaths when dealing with people, whether you’re dealing with bad drivers or unruly shoppers inside (and outside) the store. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/29/black-friday-violence_n_4360899.html

In Summary

The holiday season is a time for family and friends. Realize that, and try to keep the shopping part of it in perspective, making wise decisions with regard to where you park, how you leave your packages positioned inside the car, where you’re driving in relation to others, and how you respond to someone who doesn’t follow any of these rules. With patience and precaution, you can escape those parking lots unscathed and be home with your family before you know it.

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