Do you love the thrill of bargain hunting? Does a big discount get your heart pounding and your adrenaline pumping? Then today is your day! The day after Thanksgiving, also known as Black Friday, is the biggest shopping day of the year. The unofficial start date of the holiday shopping season, Black Friday sales can be staggering. From discounted electronics to half-price kids toys, car rental travelers can often find it impossible to resist hitting the stores this holiday weekend.
Unfortunately, the combination of bargain basement prices and over-caffeinated shoppers can lead to dangerous situations, especially on the roads and in parking lots. Sleep-deprived drivers and savings-crazed consumers are a recipe for disaster at the local mall, so be careful! In some states, intersection crashes spike more than 20% during the holiday shopping season, turning holiday cheer into holiday headaches.
If you’re braving the Black Friday rush today, be careful. Keep the following safety tips in mind when navigation the parking lots and pulling out into early morning traffic:
1. Stay Alert: Holiday shoppers need to be defensive drivers. Remember to allow extra time to get to your intersection and keep your eyes peeled when approaching driveways and roads or navigating through parking lots.
2. Be Cautious: What’s more important: arriving alive or saving 10% on the season’s hottest toy? Remember to look both ways before entering an intersection, even if you have the right of way.
3. Keep Distractions at Bay: Turn off your cell phone, put down your donut, and dial down the Christmas carols. Roadways will be crazy enough without adding unnecessary distractions to the mix.
4. Maintain a Safe Following Distance: One car length per 10 mph is the recommended following space. Any closer and you could be celebrating a fender bender this holiday.
5. Buckle Up: Accidents happen. Increase your chances of surviving a collision by wearing your seatbelt.
Savvy Car Rental Parking Pointers
Don’t let a daunting parking lot cause you problems while out shopping. Follow these parking pointers to enhance your car rental shopping trip:
1. Park at the Side Entrance: Most malls have secondary entrances located on the side. Sure, you might have to walk a little further to get to your preferred store, but at least you won’t be caught in a gridlock when it comes time to move onto your next destination.
2. Avoid Tight Spots: If you’re driving a compact car rental, avoid pulling in between two SUV or minivans. The profile of these vehicles could make it difficult for you to back out of the space. If your visibility is impaired, get help from your passengers before pulling out.
3. Avoid Reverse: If you can nab a pull-through parking spot, take it! If not, take the time to back into a spot. It’s much easier to back in than it is to back out, especially in an unfamiliar car rental.
4. Keep Your Eyes Peeled for Kids: Children can be hard to see in busy parking lots. If you’re taking your kids out shopping, always insist that you hold their hand when walking through the parking lot.
5. Don’t Cut Across the Lot: Holiday shoppers will do whatever it takes to score a great deal – even if it means driving like a lunatic through the parking lot. Keep your cool and avoid criss-crossing the lot, even if it looks clear. Use your turn signal and stick to the designated aisles.
Don’t start your holiday season off with a crash. Keep these safety tips in mind while out shopping today and throughout the following month!