For some, the early morning sprint to stores on Black Friday is as much of a Thanksgiving tradition as filling up on turkey and watching football. However, this year Black Friday will look much different due to the safety precautions put in place related to COVID-19. If you will be shopping for great deals in stores instead of online, a little preparation can go a long way in keeping you safe and out of harm’s way. Here’s what you need to know:
- On the Road
- In the Parking Lot
- In the Store
On the Road
Here’s some simple math: more people out on the roads and highways compared to other times of year, plus out-of-towners (and their unfamiliarity with the area), equals higher-than-normal traffic congestion. Plus, add in a dose of seasonal stress and the likelihood of automobile accidents increases.
Remember, focus on the driving, not your to-do list. Anticipating shifts in traffic patterns and watching for aggressive drivers can make for a less stressful day all around. If you do witness dangerous driving, call local law enforcement. When people start the party early and hit the roads, it can be a recipe for disaster.
In the Parking Lot
On Black Friday, the number of parking lot accidents jumps 25 percent. During the holiday season, shopping centers and parking lots are busy with people trying to find the perfect gifts for family and friends. The hustle and bustle accompanied by seasonal stress and distractions can lead to accidents.
Be patient and alert when looking for a parking space. Speeding up to catch that coveted empty space before someone else does can lead to an accident, especially if weather conditions are not ideal.
In the Store
Due to the current guidelines in place related to COVID-19, in-store shopping will look much different this year. Less individuals are likely to be allowed in stores at one time and social distancing may be enforced, which could lead to longer lines and wait times outside of retailers. To keep yourself and others safe, be sure to follow each retailer’s recommended safety guidelines, which they will have posted on doors and throughout their stores.
Additionally, if you have purchased a large item, ask for assistance to get it to your vehicle. Items with big, bulky packaging are not just difficult to carry, but they can also block line-of-sight, leading to slip-and-fall injuries. Slip-and-fall accidents in large retailers are unfortunately common; however, most consumers are not aware of their rights.
Property owners have a responsibility to ensure the safety of their customers, visitors and employees. However, the crowds associated with Black Friday can increase the likelihood of an accident inside stores. Be alert and notify store employees if you see an unsafe situation (i.e. spilled drinks, merchandise on the ground, etc.).
The personal injury attorneys at Dale E. Anstine have represented thousands of car accident and slip and fall cases in the York, Gettysburg and Hanover areas. Our attorneys will stand up to large insurance companies and fight for your rights to compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering and lost wages. If you or a loved one are injured this Black Friday in a car accident or slip and fall accident as a result of someone else’s negligence, contact us. Consultations are always FREE, we are available 24/7 and there is no fee unless we win for you!