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Holiday Safety

No matter when or where you go holiday shopping, safety should always be your first priority - especially when it comes to your car.

holiday shopping and driving
Person carrying bags while shopping.

Safety Tips for the Holidays

The holiday season is always a special time of year. It is also a time when busy people become careless and vulnerable to theft and other holiday crime.


  • Have your vehicle serviced before traveling (check tires, check fluids etc).
  • Tell a family member or trusted friend what time you are leaving, your anticipated route of travel, and an approximate arrival time before you start out on your trip.
  • Do not drive tired, pull over and take a break at a well lit area.
  • Do not speed (Between November 21 and January 4, many law enforcement agencies conduct special details targeting reckless drivers, impaired drivers, and drivers not wearing seatbelts.)
  • Avoid taking any medications before driving.
  • Keep doors locked while driving.
  • Keep a cell phone with you, and make sure it is fully charged before you begin your trip.
  • Try to refill your fuel tank whenever you reach a half-full tank, so that if you are in an area with few gas stations you won’t run out of gas.
  • If you have gifts in your vehicle and need to stop for the night at a hotel, carry the gifts into your hotel room. If you can’t bring the gifts inside and need to leave them in the vehicle over night, make sure that they are not visible from outside the vehicle.


  • Park as close as you can get to the stores you plan to shop in.
  • Park in well lit areas.
  • Take packages back to your car if needed, so that you aren’t overloaded with packages when you leave the store. You want to keep your arms and hands as free as possible. However, don’t put the packages in an area visible from outside of the vehicle. Also, be aware of anyone watching your actions. Some thieves will observe shoppers place packages in their cars and then break into those cars once the shoppers have returned to the mall/store.
  • If you need to use the ATM, make sure that you use one in a well-lit area. Do not use the machine if anyone is lurking around in the area or if anyone or anything makes you feel uncomfortable. Trust your instincts.
  • Be alert when walking to your car. Thieves will often target people who appear vulnerable are not paying attention to their surroundings.
  • Always look under your vehicle and look in the backseat area before you enter your vehicle.
  • Pay attention to make sure you are not being followed. If you believe you are being followed, go to a police station, gas station, or a shopping area where there are a lot of people.