December 21, 2017 Mellisa McColley

Parking Lot & Shopping Safety

 

As parking areas fill during the holiday season, shoppers are often forced to park far from shopping center exits, sometimes in poorly lighted areas. Now that there is less daylight, you’re likely to find yourself entering while the sun is up and leaving after dark, so make sure to follow these tips:

  • Park as close to entrances and exits as you possibly can. Always try to walk to and from your vehicle with another person. If you are shopping alone, consider walking near other shoppers in the parking lot.
  • If shopping alone and leaving at night — particularly if you’re carrying several bundles — ask a security officer to accompany you to your car. Most malls will provide that service.
  • If forced to the far reaches of a lot – or even beyond the lot – seek a spot that’s well-lit or near a well-traveled roadway.
  • Stow your purchases in the trunk, away from plain view to prevent theft. Save your most expensive purchases for last, so you can head straight home.
  • If you are going to be transporting a tree or other large cargo on your vehicle, make sure you have all the necessary equipment to tie it down properly and securely to your vehicle to prevent dangerous situations on the roadways. Any packages or other cargo inside your vehicle should not block the driver’s view from any angle.
  • Have your keys ready when you approach your vehicle. Before entering, check that no one is hiding in the back seat.
  • If you think you are being followed – Don’t drive home. You would only be telling your follower where you live. Stay Calm. As long as you think clearly, you’ll be in control of the situation.  Flash your lights and sound your horn long enough to attract attention to you, and consequently the person following you.  Drive to a safe location, like a law enforcement station. Do not leave this safe location until you’re sure your follower is gone.
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