Shop Safer with These Black Friday Tips
Black Friday shopping has become something of a cultural phenomenon. Every year, consumers make big plans to head out early the Friday after Thanksgiving to take advantage of special sales around their area.
Unfortunately, every year hundreds of injuries occur on Black Friday – some of these injuries have even ended in death. In 2016 alone, there were 7 people injured during stampedes, physical altercations, and confrontations on Black Friday. Some of those interactions were fatal.
If you’re participating in Black Friday shopping (or any holiday shopping for that matter), here’s how you can protect yourself this holiday season:
- Be wary of other drivers. With Black Friday sales comes an increase in traffic. This also means an increase in erratic drivers and car accidents. Drive with caution as you’re out shopping, paying extra attention on major roadways where aggressive drivers may be speeding or swerving in and out of traffic.
- Create a safety plan. No matter who you’re shopping with, designate an area to meet if you get separated or something goes awry. Keep your cell phone handy to get in touch with friends, family, or the authorities in the event of an emergency.
- Limit your chances of car theft. As you’re shopping from one location to the next, stow your items in your trunk. Keeping your purchases out of sight will reduce the chances of your car being vandalized.
- Always park in a well-lit area. The sun isn’t out for very long during the winter months – if you’re going to be out early shopping, park as close to the store as possible, and in a well-lit area. This will deter potential robbers from breaking and entering your vehicle, as well as enable you to see any suspicious activity as you approach your car.
- Keep your possessions close. In addition to aggressive shoppers, pickpockets take advantage of the holiday spirit and go after Black Friday shoppers. While you’re shopping in stores, keep your purse or wallet close to your body at all times. Similarly, only take money out when you’re going to use it; don’t carry loose cash as you’re browsing through a store.
- Never argue with someone over an item. Regardless of whether or not it’s the last one in stock, nothing is worth getting into a physical altercation. What’s more, you never know how the other person is going to react – they could be carrying a weapon and feel inclined to use it against you over something you can find elsewhere or online.
- Be patient. From crowded parking lots to waiting in long lines, shoppers can be easily frustrated during their Black Friday Shopping. No matter how frustrating the situation may seem, it’s important to remain calm. Losing control and lashing out on another person could put you in a very dangerous situation.