Staying Safe This Black Friday: Driving Safety
The auto insurance industry indicates the day after Thanksgiving as one of the most dangerous driving days of the year, so staying safe this Black Friday and practicing keen driving safety skills is as important to nabbing the best deals on toys and gifts as scanning the Black Friday ads ahead of time online.
According to Progressive Insurance, 34% more car crashes happen on Black Friday than on the surrounding weeks; reports from the insurance agency indicate that 12.5% of Black Friday claims involve rear-end collisions, while more than 11 percent of claims are filed for crashes involving a parked car. If you’d rather increase your savings than your insurance rates, you’ve got some studying to do, and it shouldn’t just be of your favorite stores’ Black Friday ads. Check out these important tips for staying safe on the road this Black Friday.
Staying Safe on the Road This Black Friday
Part of the fun of Black Friday shopping is getting all of your Christmas shopping done early at a great price, and if you practice staying safe on the road this Black Friday you’ll be able to add “without incident” to your list of achievements this frenzied shopping season. Although it may seem like common knowledge to drive safe, driving on Black Friday has its own set of issues, and for a truly safe shopping day, it’s important to put these tips into practice and make them a part of your game plan for the big day.
- Plan your route ahead of time. If you’re planning to hit the most popular store with the best deals, or you’re planning to hit multiple stores, on Black Friday, it is important to have a plan. A simple plan is often best: plan stores in order of how good the deals are or how badly you need a specific item, or even by how close they are in proximity to one another. Using the last strategy may ensure the least amount of time spent on the road, even if it doesn’t reduce the amount of time that you spend shopping. Planning your route ahead of time also gives you an advantage by allowing you to check out construction, and if possible, choose less traveled side roads that won’t have as many frustrated, tired, and hungry shoppers on them alongside you.
- Download the latest maps app to your cell phone and make sure that it will show you congested areas, travel times, traffic incidents, and heavy construction. If you can see all of these things while you are traveling, but before you come upon them, you may have an opportunity to choose another route. Avoiding problem areas on a day already filled with stress for most travelers can keep you away from fatigued drivers, impatient drivers, and drivers who just end up with a lot of road rage.
- Avoid distractions in your vehicle. Distractions are a common problem that leads to accidents on a normal, everyday basis. When you add the excitement and frustration of Black Friday into the mix, those distractions can double or even triple. Turn down the radio, keep your purchase far out of your line of sight, and keep your phone out of reach while you are driving. Make an extra effort to not look at passengers in your vehicle.
- Slow down. The idea of racing around for the best deals of the season gets some people, well, racing. But you don’t have to be one of those people and you shouldn’t be one of those people. Your obligation on Black Friday is to protect yourself and the people along for the ride so are counting on you to drive safely from one destination to the next. Driving the speed limit, or slowing down slightly due to traffic conditions. Heavy traffic always warrants a little less speed. And while you’re at it, it’s okay to increase the distance between you and the cars in front of you and behind you where possible. Anything you can do to slow the flow of traffic around you will keep you safer all throughout the day’s adventures.
Staying Safe in Parking Lots This Black Friday
When you’re out shopping for Black Friday, you know that things can get a little bit hectic on the road. But you probably don’t think about how hectic things can get in a parking lot. But really, an accident in a parking lot is just waiting to happen if you, or another holiday shopper, is looking out for big deals instead of for other vehicles. Here are some ways that you can protect yourself and your car from being involved in a serious car crash while you’re driving through parking lots, looking for the best parking spot to help you nab your holiday deals.
- Slow down. Finding parking on Black Friday is a chore, and that chore can get really frustrating really fast. You may be tempted to speed through the parking lot, looking for a parking spot…any parking spot. But the reality is that you’re more likely to be involved in a serious collision in a parking if you are putting your speed of parking ahead of safety. Driving slowly through parking lots makes you less likely to hit pedestrians running to and from the store, less likely to rear-end vehicles in front of you or to be rear-ended by vehicles driving behind you.
- Park further away. Although it is tempting to wait it out, or even battle, for a parking space on Black Friday, one of the simplest things you can do to protect yourself, your vehicle, and your passengers from a shopping day crisis is to park further away from every store that you visit during your shopping trip. Most shoppers will try their hardest to park close to the store to limit their distance from the doors and the deals. In addition, parking closer to the store typically means more vehicles jam-packed into fewer spaces, with many drivers hurriedly parking, and doing a poor job of parking at that. Additionally, the fewer cars around, the less likely you are to experience having your parked car hit by a moving vehicle.
- Make use of your hazard lights. If you purchase large items on your Black Friday shopping trip, you will likely have to pick them up at the front or side of the store. Drivers who are not paying attention, or become frustrated with waiting for a long line of stopped cars, are likely to cause problems for the pickup line. Using your hazard lights will help other shoppers to understand that you are stopped and not going to move any time soon.
- Be extra careful when you back out of your parking space. The majority—around a quarter—of parking lot accidents occur when drivers are backing out of parking spaces. No matter where you are parked, or how many cars are or are not around you, make certain that you double check before backing out of a space. You never know whether a frustrated driver will try to sneak behind your vehicle or pull up to close to take your spot once you’ve left. And these drivers often can cause big crashes and big messes for the holiday shopping frenzy.
- Don’t let the frustration get the better of you. Although it may be tempting, never allow your frustration to the get the better of you. You’re bound to encounter a jerk or two throughout your day. Drivers who follow too closely, who honk at you repeated or lean into the horn even if you can’t move out of the way, and drivers who will “steal” a parking space from you because they want to get into the store before anyone else. Getting angry or frustrated and having a confrontation, especially if you, or they, remain in a vehicle, can get dangerous. Let it go and remain as safe as possible.
Remember, Black Friday is supposed to be able the deals and the thrill of the chase. For most shoppers it is about the deals, or it’s about tradition, but you don’t want an accident to mar the memory of getting your big find, or spending the day battling for a great deal with a car crash that could hurt you or someone you love.
If you are injured during the course of a collision on Black Friday, it is important that you reach out to someone who understands Arizona traffic accidents and the laws that protect victims. The attorneys at the Breyer Law Offices, P.C., also known as the Husband and Wife Law Team, understand that when you’re injured you need help fast. We know that sustaining injuries in a collision during the holiday season takes all of the joy and fun out of this time of the year and leaves you wishing it would just be over. We do whatever it takes to negotiate a fair settlement for you and your family as quickly as possible so that you can focus on your physical, mental, and emotional recovery, and get back to having fun family holidays. If you are ready to take back the holidays and take back control of your life after an accident, it just takes one phone call to start the conversation. Reach out by calling (602) 267-1280 for a no obligation, free consultation with attorneys Mark and Alexis Breyer right now.