VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (November 19, 2018) – Black Friday shopping will mean an early morning rush hour with shoppers looking for that great deal in our area. In fact, since many stores are opening on Thanksgiving evening, we may see an increased number on the road during the normal rush hour time that holiday evening as well. With consumers showing no signs of reducing spending as the holidays approach there will likely be more shoppers taking advantage of the sales than last year. Spending growth continues to remain robust as consumer confidence is supported by rising employment and incomes. AAA Tidewater Virginia warns bargain hunters to avoid fender benders or more serious crashes while shopping.
“Overly zealous shoppers can forget even the most basic safety precautions when rushing to get the best deals or make it before ‘power hour’ deals expire, often locking their keys in their cars or hitting another vehicle when zipping in and out of parking spaces,” said Georjeane Blumling, Vice President of Public Affairs for AAA Tidewater Virginia.
Because Black Friday sales kicks off the busiest of shopping seasons, AAA Tidewater Virginia offers the following advice for navigating parking lots and protecting vehicles and pedestrians as they seek those special gifts and door busters:
See and be seen. Use your headlights when on the roads or scouring parking garages for spaces, even in the daytime. The light will let other cars see you coming around turns and can make fitting into that tight parking space a little easier. Research shows that keeping vehicle headlights on reduces crash risks, even during daylight hours.
Slow down, buckle up. Even a low-speed collision can result in injuries. Make sure that everyone is strapped in a seat belt or child safety seat while the vehicle is in motion, even if it is just a short trip to another part of the parking lot.
Look out for little ones. It can be difficult to see small children in busy parking lots or on residential roads. Be aware of your surroundings and look for children, who may make quick and unpredictable movements.
Stay on track and alert. Pedestrians should use walkways and crosswalks, if available. If walking in the traffic lanes is unavoidable, be alert for subtle cues – including exhaust or reverse lights – that signal a vehicle is about to pull out.
Make sure you have your keys before locking the car door. Every year on the weekend after Thanksgiving, AAA technicians are very useful to members who are stranded because they are locked out of their cars.
Thieves like to window shop. Place all shopping bags and valuables in the trunk. It takes a thief just seconds to smash a window and steal your shopping loot.
Stay on guard in parking lots. Choose a well-lighted area to park at night. When returning to your vehicle, have keys ready in hand and check the car’s interior before entering, using a keychain flashlight or even an I-Phone APP.
As part of North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA Tidewater Virginia provides its more than 330,000 members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding AAA Tidewater Virginia has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. For more information, visit AAA.com and follow us on Twitter at Twitter.com/AAATidewaterVA or Facebook at facebook.com/AAATidewaterVirginia.