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Parking Lot Perils: How to Safeguard Your Vehicle During the Holiday Shopping Season

‘Tis the season for holiday shopping, long wish list lines, and crowded parking lots – all of which can put your vehicle at risk. Parking lot perils are a real concern during this time of year, with an increase in vehicle theft, break-ins, and accidents. But fear not, as there are a few practical steps you can take to safeguard your ride and enjoy stress-free shopping.

At Bumpers Etc. Auto Body and Collision, we understand the importance of protecting your vehicle, which is why we have put together this comprehensive guide to help you navigate the parking lot chaos. From strategic parking to utilizing technology and being aware of your surroundings, we’ve got solutions for you. Our aim is to share helpful knowledge and empower you, so we’ll provide you with practical tips and tricks you can put into action immediately.

So, before you hit the stores to check off your holiday shopping list, take a few minutes to arm yourself with the information you need to help keep your vehicle safe and in excellent condition. With our expert advice, you can navigate the holiday shopping season without the fear of parking lot perils lurking around the corner.

Increased risks in parking lots during the holiday season

The holiday shopping season is notorious—synonymous, even—for an increase in parking lot perils and calamities, and it’s not hard to see why. With more people out and about, parking lots become even more crowded than usual, and the chances of accidents increase. Additionally, the value of the goods in your car is typically higher during the holiday season, which can unfortunately make your vehicle a target for theft.

According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, vehicle thefts spiked on New Year’s Day. This is likely because thieves see an open opportunity to steal cars that have been left unattended in parking lots overnight. However, vehicle thefts can happen at any time during the holiday season, so it’s important to always take some basic precautions to protect your vehicle.

Common parking lot perils and how to prevent them

Vehicle theft and break-ins are two of the most common parking lot dangers during the winter holiday season. Thieves are always on the lookout for easy targets, so take steps to make your vehicle less attractive and vulnerable to them.

One of the most effective ways to prevent vehicle theft is to be sure to park in well-lit areas. Thieves are less likely to target a car that is parked in a well-lit area because they are more likely to be seen. Additionally, parking close to the entrance of a store or mall (easier said than done, we know) can deter thieves because they are less likely to want to steal a car that is in a busy area.

Another way to prevent vehicle theft is to install an anti-theft device such as an alarm or a steering wheel lock. These devices make it more difficult for thieves to steal your car, and they can also serve as a solid deterrent.

Tips for choosing a safe parking spot

Choosing a safe parking spot is helpful for protecting your vehicle during the holiday shopping season. When searching for a parking spot, look for areas that are well-lit and have plenty of foot traffic. Avoid parking in isolated areas or near dumpsters, as these areas are usually more likely to attract thieves.

If possible, try to park near a security camera. Many parking lots have security cameras installed, and parking near one can provide a beneficial layer of protection for your vehicle.

When parking, be mindful of the vehicles around you. If you notice any suspicious activity, such as someone lingering near your car or attempting to break into another vehicle, alert security or local law enforcement (if you’re shopping in an area without targeted security staff) and move to a different parking spot.

Precautions to take before leaving your vehicle unattended

Before leaving your vehicle unattended, take a few extra precautions to protect your vehicle. First, make sure all windows and doors are securely locked. Additionally, do not leave any valuables visible in your car, as this can make your vehicle a target for theft.

If you must leave valuables in your car, at least keep them out of sight in the trunk or under the seats. It’s also a good idea to take a photo of your car and its license plate before leaving it unattended. This can be helpful in the event that your vehicle is stolen or vandalized.

Securing your vehicle from theft and break-ins

Aside from choosing a safe parking spot and taking precautions before leaving your vehicle unattended, there are other steps you can take to further secure your vehicle from theft and break-ins.

One of the most effective ways to secure your vehicle is to install an alarm system. An alarm system can alert you and others nearby if someone attempts to break into your car. Plus, an alarm system can deter thieves from targeting your vehicle in the first place.

Another way to secure your vehicle is to have a GPS tracking system installed. A GPS tracking system can help you locate your vehicle in the event that it is stolen. Some GPS tracking systems also have features that allow you to remotely disable your vehicle, making it all the more difficult for thieves to get away with your car.

Protecting your vehicle from weather-related damage

During the holiday season, weather-related damage may also be a concern for your vehicle. Cold temperatures, snow, and ice can all take a toll on any car. To protect your vehicle from weather-related damage, make sure your car is properly maintained.

Check your tires regularly to ensure that they are properly inflated and have good tread. Make sure that your windshield wipers are also in good condition and that your car has enough antifreeze to prevent freezing in cold temperatures.

If you live in an area with heavy snowfall, consider investing in winter tires or tire chains. These can provide additional traction on snowy and icy roads, greatly reducing the risk of accidents and damage to your vehicle.

Safety measures to consider when returning to your vehicle

When returning to your vehicle after holiday shopping, be aware of your surroundings and take precautions to ensure your safety. If possible, try to walk with a friend or family member, especially if you are returning to your car late at night.

Before getting inside your car, check the back seat and around the vehicle to make sure that there are no intruders. It’s also a good idea to have your keys ready before you approach your car. This can help you get into your car quickly and reduce the amount of time you spend in the parking lot.

Insurance coverage for parking lot incidents

Even with the best precautions, accidents and incidents can still happen in parking lots during the holiday season. That’s why it’s important to make sure you have adequate insurance coverage for your vehicle.

Most insurance policies include coverage for theft and vandalism, but check your policy to make sure that you have the coverage that you need. Additionally, consider adding comprehensive coverage to your policy, which can provide coverage for weather-related damage and other incidents that may occur while your car is parked.

Final thoughts on safeguarding your vehicle during the holiday shopping season

By following the tips and tricks outlined in this guide, you can safeguard your vehicle. Remember to choose a safe parking spot, take basic precautions before leaving your vehicle unattended, and secure your vehicle with an alarm system or GPS tracking system. Additionally, take the necessary steps to protect your vehicle from weather-related damage and remember to be aware of your surroundings when returning to your car.

The winter holiday season can certainly be a stressful time, but it doesn’t have to be when it comes to parking lot perils. For any of your vehicle’s repair and maintenance needs, Bumpers Etc. Auto Body and Collision in Akron, PA, is here for you. Call us at 866-938-4942 or contact us online today.