During the holiday season, crime rates tend to increase. By remaining aware of holiday season risks, you can better protect yourself. Here are some tips, provided by the Palm Beach Gardens Police Department, on how to celebrate safely this holiday season.
Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over
After your home or office holiday celebration, do not drive when you are impaired by alcohol and/or drugs, and do not allow your family members or friends to drive while impaired. If you drink alcohol and/or use drugs, you should designate a non-drinking driver, call a taxi, or use a ride share service.
During the busy holiday season, avoid distractions while driving, such as using your cell phone to text, email, or access social media. Sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for at least five seconds. At 55 miles, per hour, it would be like driving the length of a football field with your eyes closed. Please remember that you cannot arrive at your holiday destination safely unless the task of driving has your full attention.
Wear Your Seat Belt
Buckle up! For adults and older children, seat belt use is one of the most effective ways to save lives an reduce injuries in crashes. Yet, millions do not buckle up on every trip. During the holiday season, please remember to buckle up every time you get into a vehicle.
Take a Break, Drive Awake
Drowsy driving is a dangerous behavior that can result in serious injury or death. Despite the risks, drowsy driving is far too prevalent. Drowsy driving is estimated to contribute to as many as 1.2 million collisions, resulting in potentially 5,000 to 8,000 fatalities per year. During the busy holiday season, take a break and drive awake!
Keep Your Children Safe
In 2018, every 32 seconds, one child under the age of 13 in a passenger vehicle was involved in a crash. Many times, injuries and deaths can be prevented by proper use of car seats, boosters, and seat belts. We urge parents and caregivers to protect their child's future at every stage of life, and especially during the holiday season, by making sure they secure them in the correct car seat for their age, height, and weight.
Speeding endangers everyone on the road. We all know the frustrations of modern life and juggling a busy schedule during the holiday season, but speed limits are put in place to protect all road users. Please slow down and realize that faster doesn't mean safer.
• Place gifts where they can not be seen from the outside.
• Do not advertise expensive toys, electronics, or their gifts received by leaving the boxes for garbage collection. Break down the boxes and place them into the trash bin.
• Lock your vehicle and remove al valuables including the car key fob, even in your driveway.
• When getting gas, do not leave purses and wallets on the front seat or center console of the vehicle.
Theft of Packages or Mail
• Have packages delivered to work.
• If possible, install a doorbell camera.
• Mail cards, checks, or gift cards from the Post Office or at a blue U.S. Postal Service Box.
Avoid Personal Victimization
• Carry a purse or shoulder bag close to your body. Put a wallet in an inside pocket of a jacket or front pants pocket.
• If you go to an ATM, check for people around the area, check ATM for skimmers, and make sure the ATM is in a well-lit area and a safe location.
• Carry only the credit cards you need and avoid carrying large amounts of cash.
• Have your keys in hand when approaching your vehicle to avoid fumbling around for your keys and being distracted.