Holiday Shopping and Staying Safe
Crazy yet? The hectic holiday shopping season means parking lots full of people, safety hazards, the heightened possibility of theft and, of course, dents and scratches to your ride. So what can you do to stay safe, and scratch and dent free?
Parking Lot Safety
- Eliminate distractions. Turn off and stow cell phones. Set up navigation and GPS devices before starting to drive.
- Watch for pedestrians. Remain cautious of pedestrians on crosswalks and moving in-between and behind cars. Be alert, especially for children who are not always paying attention.
- Play the outfield. Outlying areas have more spaces, lighter traffic and a lower risk of collision.
- Don’t put yourself in a tight spot. Avoid parking between a pair of tall SUVs, minivans, or pickups where it might be hard to back out of the space. If you can’t see well enough to back out safely, get help from one of your passengers.
- Buckle up. Even a low-speed collision can result in injuries. Make sure that everyone is strapped in a seat belt or child car seat while the car is in motion, even if it’s just a short trip to another part of the parking lot.
- Use cash or credit only. Compromised debit information puts your money at risk because the card is directly linked to your bank account. Credit cards offer greater consumer protection and less liability than your bank card.
- Clean out your wallet. Don’t carry excess credit cards or your Social Security card with you. For the cards you carry, keep a copy of all account numbers and phone numbers in safe place at home.
- Search before you swipe. Tech-savvy thieves use inconspicuous tools such as skimming devices to steal your card information at ATMs, gas pumps and other pay terminals. Don’t use swipe devices that look out of place. Be sure to shield your PIN number as you punch it in or ask the cashier to run your card through the register.
AAA cautions that crowded shopping malls, streets and parking lots can provide ample opportunity for theft during the holiday season.
- Protect your presents by stowing shopping bags in the trunk. A thief can steal your gifts in a matter of seconds, so eliminate the temptation by keeping them out of sight.
- Keep a grip on your valuables. Make sure your purse is secure in your hand, along with any valuables you may have just bought. Thieves are always looking for an easy “snatch and grab.”
- Know who is around. Don’t be caught off guard. Keep an eye on what and who may be around you. Lock your doors as soon as you get in. If someone approaches your vehicle, do not roll down a window or open a door to a stranger. If you feel you must respond, open the window only and inch or two.
Flower City Collision wants you and your family to have a safe and happy holiday. If you do get a scratch, dent, or get into a fender bender, we hope you think of your friends here at Flower City Collision. We are auto body repair and auto paint professionals. We will get your car back to you and looking like new in no time. Happy Holidays.