Black Friday Shopping

Black Friday: a modern tradition that’s as American as football, fireworks and apple pie!

The day after Thanksgiving, millions of people will be flocking to stores and shopping malls around the country to score once-a-year deals on everything you can think of. It’s the best day of the year for bargain hunters, but with everyone having the same idea, getting around can be tough.

Before you even get to the long lines and crowded stores, you’ll have to get through traffic which can be as incredible as those deals you’re after.

Here’s some advice for staying safe and getting where you need to go this Black Friday, whether you’re out shopping or just going about your everyday business.

1. Plan your route around the traffic
Even if you don’t want to go anywhere near a shopping mall this Black Friday, you will still have to deal with the flood of people who do.

Getting to your normal destinations might not be as easy as usual. With as many as 70 million people out shopping, there’s almost no question of crazy traffic almost anywhere you’ll want to go.

If possible, plan an alternate route to steer clear of major thoroughfares and shopping destinations. Even if this route adds 10 minutes to your trip, it might be less time than you would lose waiting in traffic.

2. Leave early
Again, you should plan around Black Friday traffic even if you’re not interested in shopping.
Leave earlier than you would normally, especially if you can’t avoid areas of high traffic. Expect delays and try not to get too frustrated. (Not easy, I know.)

3. Keep your eyes on the road
Avoid distractions and keep your eyes on the road at all times. This is good advice any day of the year, but it goes double on Black Friday, a day when the traffic accidents spike by 34% according to data from Progressive insurance.

Top three states with the most motor vehicle accidents on Black Friday
Put your phone away, leave the radio alone and be aware of everything happening around you. Remember that the other drivers around you are very likely impatient, on edge and in a hurry, so you have to be extra calm and focused to stay safe.

4. Caution in parking lots
Did you know that one out of five motor vehicle accidents happens in a parking lot? And that’s on normal days, not even talking about Black Friday!

Drivers often get distracted in parking lots. Busy looking for a space to park, it’s hard to keep an eye open also for pedestrians (who are usually distracted looking for their car) and other cars (whose drivers may also not be giving full attention to their surroundings).

Cars may also be backing out of spaces with limited visibility.

5 Types of car accidents in parking lots
Although you’re driving slowly, take extra care in the parking lot. Look twice before you back out or go around corners. Drive with the expectation that there could be a person, a child or another car anywhere.

Respect directional arrows within the lot while remembering that other cars might not be so considerate.

Many new cars today come with useful safety technology for parking, such as sensors and rear-view cameras for backing up. If your car has these, make good use of them.

5. Park farther away
The majority of driving accidents on Black Friday happen in the parking lots outside malls, and right outside the door is the biggest danger zone. Here you’ll find the most traffic, congestion, frustrated drivers and slow-moving pedestrians with shopping carts – and the least chances of actually being able to park your car!

Steer clear of this scene. Rather than waste your time and risk damage to your car (or to a shopper) by looking for a space in the front, stick to the back of your lot. It will be worth the extra minute of walking.

6. Keep track of your car in the parking lot
Is there anything worse than losing your car in a huge parking lot?

Well, yes, but while pushing around a heavy shopping cart after a few hours of high-intensity shopping, it’s hard to imagine!

In the midst of Black Friday craziness, it’s easy to just drop your car in the first parking space you (finally) find and run for the entrance doors. But you’ll regret this later when you waste tons of time wandering around looking for it so you can go home.

Save the trouble by noticing where you park. Some parking lots have numbered spaces or areas. If so, snap a photo of the numbered area with your smartphone so you won’t forget. If not, just look out for any nearby trees or distinctive features. Keep track of how you got from there to the store so you can retrace your steps.

7. Stay home if shopping for a car lease
What’s the best way to avoid the hassle of driving, parking, and shopping for a car on Black Friday?

That’s easy: stay home!

For some people, Black Friday is the best thing about Thanksgiving. It’s that one day of the year retailers go to a distance to slash prices so that consumers stick with them for their holiday shopping.

Posted in