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Keeping an Eye on Safety

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Samuetta DrewBy Samuetta Hill Drew

Holiday shopping is a fun activity we enjoy doing alone, with family and/or with friends. Cruising the stores within the many malls located in and around Birmingham looking for those special gifts for our little ones and big ones gives us, as Americans, usually a great deal of joy.  We leave the mall stores walking to our vehicles with our hands filled with all types of packages, both big and small, and stuff them into our vehicles regardless of trunk size or passenger space. Yes, holiday shopping is a fun sport but, where and how we park are a concern and the topic for this week’s column.

Parking Tip One – Avoid Large Vehicles: It is important for visibility purposes that you try to avoid parking between too many SUVs and trucks.  This tip applies regardless of the type of vehicle you drive. Large vehicles like SUVs and trucks make easy hiding spaces for potential thieves and assailants especially when they are all lined up in a row.

Parking Tip Two – Look before You Leap: Look underneath your vehicle while approaching to make sure no one is underneath. This will prevent them from being able to attack you as you attempt to enter your vehicle. If you spot someone, immediately go back into the store and report this to the store or mall security. Under no circumstances should you attempt to handle the matter yourself.

Parking Tip Three – Lights are Your Friend: We all know that usually robbers and assailants prefer not to commit crimes in well-lighted areas where they can easily be seen by others as well as their victim. With this in mind, always try to park your vehicle in areas which are well-lighted especially if you’re shopping alone.  Just ride around until you can find the perfect space potentially safe for you.

Parking Tip Four – Out of Sight, Out of Mind: Before going shopping make sure you clear ample space in your trunk to store your packages. You want to store all or as many packages as possible in your trunk to prevent anyone from breaking into your car. You don’t want your car to become the shopping mall for someone else’s gift giving.

If you follow these simple holiday tips about parking, I am confident you will continue to keep an eye on safety. Happy shopping!