Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Holiday Car Safety

During the month of December lots of news stories warn about car jacking’s, break-ins, and the dangers of holiday shopping. We have taken some of the best tips for our blog post to help keep you safe while you are out and about this month.  One recent story said that if you get into your car and see a note written on your windshield or on the back of your car window don't get out of your car to get it. Below are a few more tips for holiday shoppers.

Don’t tempt the car burglar
 MP3 players, iPods, cell phones, laptop computers, GPS systems, satellite radios and other small electronic devices are a car burglar’s dream. Small and easy to conceal, these are the types of items most often stolen from a car. Sitting in plain sight, they attract a thief’s attention.
Know when and where you intend to do your holiday gift shopping, and don’t leave personal valuables in your car. They will tempt a car burglar. Instead, plan ahead and leave them at home. If you absolutely must leave any valuables in your car while holiday shopping, stash them out of sight. Place them in the trunk, stow them under a seat or cover them with a blanket. Always lock your car, close the windows and shut your sunroof, too.When possible, shop during daylight hours and park in a well-lit, highly trafficked area of the mall parking lot. If possible, shop with at least one other adult.

Don’t holiday shop while distracted 
Just like you shouldn't drive while distracted, you shouldn't do your holiday gift shopping when you are distracted. Leave yourself plenty of time to shop for the holidays, and you can minimize distractions.
According to Martin, holiday shoppers make perfect targets for car burglars and other thieves. Whether they’re distracted by children, in a hurry to get home or carrying packages to the car while chatting on a cell phone or digging for keys, these shoppers are typically unaware of their surroundings and potentially unsafe situations. He recommends you find a good babysitter to watch your children while you shop for holiday gifts, and go on a day when you won’t have to rush.

Prevent crime: report suspicious behavior
 Report any activity that seems suspicious.
“Nothing says you have to be confronted to be suspicious,” says Martin. “If something you see or hear makes you feel uncomfortable or suspicious, it’s probably because it should.”
Depending on the level of threat, Martin recommends calling mall security or your local police department if you witness any suspicious or criminal activity while doing your holiday gift shopping.
“Time is of the essence,” says Martin. “If you need immediate response, or anticipate personal safety could be a legitimate concern, call 911 immediately. And never, ever attempt to investigate a suspicious activity on your own.”
Police officers are usually best equipped to deal with dangerous situations, according to Martin. However, he adds that mall security is a good first line of defense. Contacting them if you witness odd behavior – like someone wiggling the door handles on a vehicle – can help prevent potential crimes like car burglaries and auto theft.

Tips via: http://www.nationwide.com/about-us/only-on-holiday-shopping-safety.jsp

Parking lot traffic: Breathe. 
It isn’t worth getting into a fender bender, a holiday cheer-draining shouting match…or even worse, a fight…over a parking space. Before you venture out, prepare yourself. Expect the parking situation to be stressful. Don’t assume that car backing out can see you. Don’t be surprised when another car ignores that you were clearly waiting for the parking spot they just took…And no matter how upset someone may make you, never get out of your car to confront them. There’s always another parking space available somewhere in the parking lot. The amount of time it takes to find a new spot is nothing compared to the time it will take to deal with mall security or police if you and another driver get into an altercation.

Park in well-lit areas: The closer we get to the holidays, the earlier the sun sets
The well-lit spot you park in at 2:30 in the afternoon might be in the dark when you return a couple hours later. Keep in mind how long you plan to shop, and park accordingly, if possible. Aside from personal safety, parking in well-lit areas can help avoid fender benders as you try to pull out of your space.

Move your car: No one likes to fight through mall crowds while weighed down with bags. 
Often, shoppers will return to their cars, drop off their bags, and go back to shopping. If you do this, you should consider moving your car to a new space. Often, thieves will sit and watch for someone to drop gift bags into their car or trunk then return to the mall. Once out of sight, the thieves will break in and take the items. You may not want to deal with parking again, but it’s worth it to protect your purchases. And who knows…you may find a better spot!

Shop light: Try not to carry too many things at a time
If you’re juggling bags from five stores, your purse, a large-skinny-triple-foam-peppermochacino-latte, and your phone, you make an easy target for the thief who wants to snatch a bag or purse (or, for some odd reason, your latte). You may want to leave the purse behind and just carry the necessary credit cards and cash in your pocket.

Tips via: http://www.maif.net/site/maif-offers-holiday-shopping-safety-tips/


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