Black Friday Safety Tips

Black Friday is one of the biggest and busiest shopping days of the year, and that makes it one of the most dangerous. Some people begin shopping as soon as Thanksgiving dinner is over, others head out late at night, and others wake up early the morning after to go out and find the best possible deals on gifts for their loved ones. It can be a fun experience, but it can also be one that's quite dangerous. Before you head out with an empty trunk and a mug of coffee to shop in the middle of the night, you need to know how you can keep yourself safe. These safety tips might just save your life during the most wonderful time of the year.

Don't Drink and Drive

The family is all together, and that means a lot of people are enjoying a glass of wine or other libation with dinner. The problem is most people never stop at just one, and that leaves them at risk for being inebriated when it's time to shop. If you're planning on going shopping on Black Friday, limit yourself to a glass or two of wine earlier in the day and give yourself a couple hours to sober up following that. Switch to water the rest of the night. Never get in the car after you've been drinking.

Take a Friend

You might not like shopping with other people, but it's dangerous to be out in the middle of the night by yourself. it might be the most wonderful time of year, but Black Friday is a prime night for thieves. They're much more likely to target a woman out by herself walking to her car in the middle of a dark parking lot than one who has a friend or several with her. If you can't find a friend, ask a store employee or security guard to escort you to your vehicle when you exit a store.

Lock Your Items in the Trunk

Thieves want what you have, so don't make it easy for them to spot it. Rather than leaving shopping bags on your seat, put them in the trunk and keep your doors locked. Put a blanket over them, or invest in a cover to use over your trunk if you have a minivan or SUV. Thieves are less likely to break into a vehicle if they're not sure there's anything worth stealing in it. They want to know what they're getting is good stuff, and that requires being able to see it.

Be Vigilant in the Parking Lot

You might want to be on the phone with your husband at home or posting photos of what you just bough to your social media accounts, but don't do it when you're walking through the parking lot. Your safety requires you are aware of what is going on around you at all times. Keep your keys in your hand, don't unlock your doors until you're at the car, and only unlock the driver's door if you're alone. Put your purse in the car first, and then lock the doors while you put your purchases in your trunk. Be aware of what's going on around you, and carry a can of mace or your keys between your fingers in a dark parking lot in case you are attacked. Be aware of traffic, too, so you're not involved in a pedestrian accident.

Know Where to Park

When you're Black Friday shopping, know where to park. Avoid parking in the back of the lot if you can. Avoid parking between large vehicles such as vans and big SUVs, and try to park where there is light. In fact, if there is no light near an available spot, keep driving. These are the little tips that might make a difference between being safe and being involved in an accident or a mugging on Black Friday.

Your safety depends on your knowledge. Know what to look for on Black Friday. Trust your gut and know to ask for help from a store employee if you feel it's necessary. Stick together, and spend as little time in the parking lot in the middle of the night as possible. 

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T.J. Smith, Attorney at Law
600 W Main Street Suite 100
Louisville, KY 40202

Phone: 502-792-7937
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