The streets and malls of the country are bustling on Black Friday with nearly 40% of all Americans out and about. While the killer deals are irresistible, you have to be very careful when driving and parking to prevent Black Friday from turning into a killer day. With so many vehicles on the road and the lure of big discounts, which proves to be quite distracting, mishaps are frequent. So, this is what you need to do to prevent accidents:
The best time to shop!
This year most stores intend to open their doors earlier than usual yet the majority of shoppers will put their trip to the mall off till noon. So, 12 pm to 4 pm is the busiest time to be on the roads. If you want to get out shopping, it would be best to get an early start. Time your trip in such a way that you get to enter the store about 15-30 minutes after opening; this way you will avoid the morning mob that can get very impatient and is known to have caused many trampling injuries and fatalities.
While on the road!
You will certainly not be the only person out to avail the benefits of Black Friday discounts. So, here are a few tips to follow before you get behind the wheels of your car and while you are driving to your favorite stores.
Patience is the key to a peaceful trip: With everybody trying to get into the stores as soon as they can, tempers on the road are usually flaring and traffic bottlenecks only exacerbate the aggravation and aggression. Remember that you won’t be able to get the best deals if you are in an accident and injured or arrested. So, keep your cool and slow down.
Kick out the distractions: Even if you are a safe driver, you can’t expect every motorist on the road to be as conscientious as you are. To play it safe, eliminate distractions like texting, talking on the phone, drinking and eating while driving.
Be cautious when traversing through intersections: Even if you have a green light, look both ways to ensure that a vehicle does not suddenly come at you. Also, make sure that you keep safe distance between your car and the vehicle in front of you. This means that you will need to use your brakes well in advance. Similarly, it is crucial to use headlights and turning lights to signal your intent.
Remember that planning can not only save you time and fuel money but also a lot of trouble. Driving around on a busy day will prove to be quite frustrating. So, decide on the stores that you intend to visit and the route that you intend to take well in advance and stick to it. Also, check traffic alerts and your GPS to learn about congestion on the road you intend to take.
At the parking lot!
Parking can be tricky: Particularly on Black Fridays, you will find lots of people and vehicles in the parking lot. Since 25% of all parking accidents occur when backing up, be extra careful when you are in reverse.
Go for less crowded parking spot: Yes, it may be far away from the entrance of the store but less crowded parking areas will get you some much needed exercise and they are the best way to prevent parking accidents.
You may have your run in with a jerk: You may have been in situations when you are just about to park your car when another motorist claims the spot. Is it frustrating and annoying? You bet! But losing your temper and getting into a scuffle will get you nowhere. Instead, count to ten and go about your day.
Loading the vehicle!
So, you walk out of the store a happy person because you managed to get a hefty discount on all your gifts. But, you are still one step away from being safe! Anti-social elements will also be out in full force in the hopes of finding easy prey and this is what you can do to be safe:
- Park in a well-lit area.
- If you intend to keep your purchases in the vehicle and go in for round two of shopping, keep them away from plain sight. Storing them in the trunk is the best option.
- Try to find out if it would be possible for you to pick up large purchases like household appliances on the next day.
- If not, ask the salesperson to help you find a back or side entrance where you can load the item into the vehicle without getting in the way of other shoppers and cars.
Finally, be aware of your surroundings and always carry a charged cell phone along which can come to your rescue in case of an emergency. While a lot of people are shopping online these days, many still enjoy doing things the old way. If you are one of them, we hope you have a have a safe and happy holiday season with these tips.