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  • Black Friday Shoppers: Be Careful Parking At The Mall

    Black Friday Shoppers: Be Careful Parking At The Mall

    So you've picked the perfect gift. Now comes the hard part: navigating the crowds at the mall, and mall parking lot, to go get it.  Parking lots are especially dangerous during the holidays when they are more crowded, and not just with more cars and pedestrians, but more grinches hoping to steal your presents

    Parking Lot Driving Safety

    Here are some safety tips to keep in mind when driving in parking lots and parking this holiday season.

    • Don’t be distracted behind the wheel. Put down your phone and stay alert to what is going on around you. Also don’t use your cellphone when you’re walking through a parking lot. If you’re looking down at your phone it makes you an easy target.
    • Keep your eyes peeled for children and other pedestrians both in and out of crosswalks.
    • Park in well-lit areas.
    • Don’t squeeze yourself into a parking space. You could end up with door dings or have trouble getting in and out.
    • Don’t park between two tall vehicles. It makes it difficult to see when you are backing out of the space.
    • Don’t just rely on technology, i.e. your rearview backup camera. Actually look over your shoulder and also use your side mirrors.
    • Keep your seatbelt fastened. A lot of accidents happen in parking lots, so a seatbelt is just as important as if you were on the road.
    • Practice parking lot etiquette. Be a courteous driver to avoid any confrontations with frazzled, impatient drivers.
    • Remember where you parked. It’s easy to do if you take a picture of where you parked with your smartphone. Some apps can also help you track it down.


    Deterring Holiday Thieves

    Thieves  - aka grinches - are also always looking for opportunities - and this is especially true during the holiday season. Don’t assume because there is a police presence at many malls that you or your packages are safe because they have a large area to patrol. Always stay alert and note your surroundings, plus follow these tips:

    • Stow your bags in the trunk or under a cargo cover to keep them out of sight.
    • Don’t make it easy for a thief to snatch and grab your purse or shopping bags. Make sure they are secure in your hand.
    • Always lock your doors. If you think you forgot, you can do this remotely now from many vehicle apps.
    • Have your keys out and ready when you get to your vehicle.
    • Never leave your car running with the keys in it while you’re loading or unloading packages from the trunk.
    • Don’t open your car door or window to a stranger.

    Don't forget to take your gifts out and into your house when you get home.

    Following these safety tips will help minimize your risks in terms of parking lot accidents and keeping any Christmas grinches at bay.

    Photo Credit: Pressmaster/Shutterstock.com