Mall fights, Packed Parking Lots, Pickpocketers…’Tis the Season to be Alert!

Holiday Travel Safety

It was Andy Williams who sang, “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year. It’s the hap-happiest season of all.” There are some precautions that should be taken to keep the mood merry.

Road Dangers

The holiday season brings with it a number of driving hazards. The Christmas/New Year’s holiday period is one of the busiest long-distance travel times of the year, according to the U.S Department of Transportation, based in Washington, DC. During this period, the number of long-distance trips (to and from a destination 50 miles or more away) increases by 23 percent, compared to the average number for the remainder of the year. Many are driving in unfamiliar areas and are more focused on the GPS than the road. Plus, more cars on the road mean an increased chance of being involved in an auto accident. Another worry is plummeting temperatures that bring with it snow and ice, not to mention limited daylight. To prevent mishaps, give yourself extra travel time so you don’t have to speed and eliminate all distractions so you are focused on the road.

Mall Fights

Massive brawls and food-court fights played out at more than a dozen malls across the country in what proved to be a chaotic day after Christmas.  Some of the mayhem was captured on social media. The chaos prevented some shoppers from grabbing clothes off clearance racks and returning gifts.  It is vital to keep alert and the first sign of disruption you should look to leave right away. Many of these fights could be diffused if people walk away from trouble.

Parking Lots

As you leave the mall with your arms overflowing with your purchases, you may be less aware of your surroundings. A mistake. Even with your hands full, scan the area where your car is parked. Also be on the lookout for potholes or elevation changes and park in well-lit areas

Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs)

ATMs can be a haven for criminals and that is why it is important to be aware when visiting one. Take out your earbuds and put your cell phone away. Pay attention to who is around and who may be watching you.

Pickpocketers

Let’s say you and your family are headed into New York City to see the famed tree in Rockefeller Center. Realize that pickpocketers are a threat. Cameras, pocketbooks, anything that is hanging or swinging, should be kept up front. Wallets should be carried in your front pocket or consider a passport holder/wallet that can be worn around the neck and under the shirt. Keep only the bare essentials in your wallet and don’t carry any more credit cards than you need. Cell phones and other handheld devices are targets as well.

Secure Your Home

Turn down your thermostat when you’re traveling for the holidays but don’t turn off the furnace completely as it could put your pipes in danger of freezing. Keep your heat on and turned to at least 55 degrees. Be sure your security system is on when you are away.

Social Media

You may be excited to share photos of you and your family as you travel over the holidays but think again, says security experts. Posting your itinerary and images from your travels can make you an easy target. A potential burglar will know that your house is empty. If it is important to you to share your holiday photos, don’t do it in real time. Wait until you are safely at home.

If you, or someone you care about, has been injured in an accident over the holidays or at any time, contact Rosenberg & Gluck, Long Island personal injury attorneys, for a free, confidential legal consultation to learn more about your options.