Every year during the Holiday Shopping Season, there is a noticeable surge in crimes and accidents across the country. Shoppers tend to be so occupied buying all sorts of stuff that they often fail to be aware of their surroundings – which either makes them easy targets for criminals or leads to accidents.
There are several ways of keeping ourselves safe while shopping during the Holiday Shopping Season – or any time of the year. Here, experienced injury lawyers in Clermont, Florida suggest basic safety measures that you can take to save yourself from theft or being a crime victim this Holiday Shopping Season.
Before You Leave Your Home
- Plan your shopping trip in advance, including where you will go and which routes you will take to reach your destination.
- Arrange for a family member or friend to go along with you.
- Let someone in your family know where you are going to shop, which routes you will follow to reach there, and when you are likely to return.
- Leave your residence secure, switch on alarms, and make your home appear as if it is occupied, by leaving the lights on in the most frequently used areas of your home.
- Do not leave your valuables in the open. Safeguard them in safes, closets, etc. before you leave.
When You Park Your Vehicle
- Always park your car in a well-lit parking space. Note the location of your car to locate it easily when you return after shopping.
- Lock all the doors of your vehicle.
- Items like laptops, radar detectors, or packages must be either removed or kept out of sight by hiding them in the trunk or glove compartment.
- Never park your car near other vehicles with covered cargo areas
- Never carry large handbags. Just carry what you require.
- Look around the parking lot for any suspicious individual before you leave the area for shopping
- Only get out of your car when you are ready. Stay in your vehicle or drive away if you feel unsafe.
When You Shop
- Keep all your cash or credit cards in the front pocket. Also, limit the amount of cash and the number of cards you would carry while shopping.
- To avoid “identity theft”, never expose debit cards, credit cards, and any other identity proof at ATMs or cash counters. Fraudsters may use cellphone cameras to capture such information.
- Be wary of “distraction” kind of criminal activities that mostly occur during the Holiday Season.
When You Return Home After Shopping
- Do not leave the shopping centre with your hands full of bags and packages. Instead, use a trolley or cart.
- Keep your vehicle key in your hand when returning to the parking lot.
- Never return to your car if you find people loitering around your vehicle.
- Always keep an audible device like a whistle with you. If you sense threat, use them. If you are inside your car, lock the doors and honk the horn to get attention.
- Check the front, back and underneath of your car as soon you approach it.
- Check the rear and front passenger seats of your vehicle before you enter.
- If you want to get back to the store again, do not leave your packages and bags in plain sight in the car. Lock them inside the trunk or keep them on the vehicle floor and cover them with a blanket.
Other Safety Tips
Tips to Avoid Getting Hurt While Shopping
- Be aware of any hurdles or substances on floors of the store that can result in a fall or trip
- Keep a constant eye on your surroundings and avoid arguments with other shoppers
- Never carry too many or heavy items, unless there is a family member or friend to help you out
- Stay alert all the time as store security may not be available everywhere
- Have a plan for the safety of your kids, if you are taking them along for shopping
Tips to Avoid Cyber Theft
- Never buy anything on websites that appear shady, insecure, or otherwise suspicious
- Be extra cautious while shopping on a smartphone, as it usually does not have malware or anti-virus protection
- Do not use public Wi-Fi for online transactions as this may expose your sensitive information
- Change your account passwords regularly
- Keep a record of your purchases so that you can easily track your card-related charges
- Review credit card statements regularly, especially during the Shopping Season
Driving Safety Tips for the Holiday Shopping Season
- Plan Your Travel in Advance: While planning, keep in mind the heavy traffic you may experience during this time of the year. Plus, decide on an alternate route to and from your shopping destination. Also, check the weather on the day of your shopping and leave your home early so that you do not have to rush for anything.
- Check Your Vehicle to Avoid Possible Breakdown or Accident: Before you start your trip, see if your vehicle is in great condition. Check your lights, engine oil, air pressure in the tires, battery, etc.
- Avoid Potential Distractions: If you are not sure how to get to your shopping venue, set the location on your GPS device before you start your journey. Make sure to take enough rest before you start your trip as tiredness often leads to irritation and distraction.
What Should You Do If You Get Injured or Become a Crime Victim during the Holiday Shopping Season?
Despite following all safety tips, you may still meet with an accident due to someone else’s fault or become the victim of a crime. If this happens to you, contact your personal injury attorney in Clermont, Florida immediately to discuss your case as well as to understand your rights and legal options. Your injury lawyer may examine your case and explain to you the appropriate course of action for your fast recovery.