Black Friday is a dangerous day of shopping. It’s hazardous enough that a website called blackfridaydeathcount.com has been created to track avoidable accidents and deaths that are directly related to Black Friday.
Fortunately, in 2014, no Black Friday shopping deaths were reported, but let’s not get complacent. Below is a list of tips to stay safe in the shopping centers, the parking lot, and even on the road.
Know what you’re planning to buy. The risk of the crowd might not be worth it if you can get the same deal on a different day. Additionally, all the chaos could be disorienting, so planning ahead will help you feel safe in all of the holiday hustle and bustle.
If you will be buying several things from the same store, make sure you’ll be able to carry everything out. Bring a friend with you, or ask an employee to help carry your purchases to your car.
Consider looking online to see if you can get the same or a similar Cyber Monday deal. You may be able to enjoy the savings without having to step outside.
Carry A Cell Phone
A fully charged cell phone is a must during Black Friday—especially if you’re shopping with a group. Decide on a centralized meeting place before going in, just in case phone reception is bad.
If shopping with children, make sure they have your phone number memorized or written down. Teach your kids to ask store security or other employees for help if they get separated.
Secure your Wallet and Purchases
‘Tis the season for theft! Don’t carry a lot of cash around to pay for your merchandise. Flashing it around will make you seem like a target. Only take your wallet out when at the counter. Keep it in your front pocket or purse when you aren’t using it.
On your way to your vehicle, have your keys in hand. If you set your purchases down to dig through your pocket or purse, a thief will notice that you’re distracted. Quickly lock your gifts in your trunk, and begin driving as quickly as possible after getting into your car.
If you’ll be braving the biggest crowds for the best deals, stay tightly within your group. Remember what jackets everyone in your group is wearing: both the color of their jacket, and the color of their clothing underneath it.
If you see any sort of mob behavior—a struggle for the last few items or any threats of violence, withdraw and leave the area. A Christmas present isn’t worth an injury or death.
Auto Accidents Increase On Black Friday!
It is estimated that nearly 150 million people will be visiting stores on Black Friday, so parking lots will likely be crowded. According to Progressive Insurance, about 13 percent of Black Friday accident claims between 2010 and 2011 were rear-end collisions, 11 percent with parked cars and 8 percent from drivers backing into other vehicles. Consider shopping with a group and carpooling; fewer cars on the road means a lower chance for an accident.
When you do pack up your presents, don’t over-stuff your car to the point that your visibility or safety is compromised.
DON’T Be A Grinch!
Remember, most people will shop safely and respectably on Black Friday. Don’t be paranoid, but be prepared.
Remember to say “please” and “thank you” to retail employees, regardless of how long you were waiting in line. You never know—they may be the only thing between you and the next “it” gadget in the back room.
Call Us On Cyber Monday
If you’re injured in an accident on Black Friday, contact a St. Louis personal injury lawyer as soon as possible (we’ll have operators working the phone on the weekend if you’d rather talk to someone before Cyber Monday). Many retail stores have cameras inside the store as well as in the parking lot. A lawyer can help secure camera footage that could prove useful in your case.
It’s not a Black Friday Deal: consultations at Schultz & Myers Personal Injury Lawyers are always 100% free.