As we enter our traditional holiday season and on into 2018, keep in mind, this is also accident season. People sometimes overlook safety while having fun, and unfortunately, injuries occur and many lives are lost or irreparably changed each year during the holidays.
Incorporating safety into your plans will help you and your families have a great holiday and not a tragic one. Speed is always a common thread in accidents, so do not be in a hurry. Take time to plan your actions and always be aware of your surroundings and environment.
Do what you know is right, even when you think no one’s watching. While operating a vehicle, wear your seat belts or protective gear. If operating a motorcycle, slow down. Do not drive under the influence of alcohol and drugs– call for a taxi, Uber or Lyft (now in Ocala), take public transportation, or have a designated driver. Put down your mobile phone and do not text while driving.
As you are out shopping for gifts during the holidays, be safer with these helpful tips:
- Don’t shop alone, and when offered, let retail employees assist you with taking your merchandise to your vehicle.
- Observe your surroundings– report any suspicious or loitering people to the authorities.
- Don’t let thieves use your car windows as shopping windows! Store packages in your trunk and park your vehicle near a store’s entrance. Walk in a well-lit areas when parking in larger mall parking lots.
- Don’t carry large amounts of cash; use secure forms of payment such as a credit or debit card when purchasing items; and store your wallet in an inner pocket of your clothing/jacket (not in your back pocket).
- Have merchandise delivered to a secured location when possible.
- If you are heading out of town, be sure to secure your home and designate someone you trust to collect your newspapers and mail.
- Check the security of your home. Do not place valuables where they will be visible from your doors or windows. In addition, look into installing sturdy deadbolts on all exterior doors.
- Don’t announce on answering machines or social networking sites when you will be traveling away from home. Make sure you increase occupancy indicators (e.g., increase exterior and/or interior lights, leave your radio or TV on, etc.).
Please enjoy time with your family and friends over the holiday season and return safely.