Thanksgiving Safety Tips from Sheriff Nolan

There are many changes this time of year. Daylight Savings Time has ended and it's dark by the time most of us are leaving work. The Thanksgiving Holiday and Winter are rapidly approaching. Preoccupation of gift buying, decorating and setting up parties; in addition to managing our daily lives can distract your attention and lead to mistakes or accidents. Sheriff Nolan suggests some simple safety tips to help make Holiday Season preparations a safer and happier experience for everyone.

Please take into account the additional COVID safety factors. Always wear your mask and keep at least six feet apart from other patrons.

O'er the river and through... that labyrinth of holiday traffic!!

  • The Wednesday night before Thanksgiving is considered one of the top 10 busiest driving days of the year and the number 1 busiest of the Holiday Season. Use caution and stay alert. Put the cell phone down and pay attention to navigating your vehicle through the labyrinth of Holiday Traffic that will most likely last until January.

  • Statistics show that the number of Drunk Driving accidents increase during the Holiday Season. Take steps to prevent drunk driving:

    • If you will be drinking, plan on not driving. Plan your safe ride home before you start the party. Designate a sober driver ahead of time.

    • If you drink, do not drive for any reason. Call for a ride, phone a sober friend or family member, use public transportation, etc. Download NHTSA’s SaferRide mobile app which helps you identify your location and call for a ride or friend to pick you up.

    • If someone you know has been drinking, do not let that person get behind the wheel. Take their keys and help them arrange a sober ride home.

    • If you see an impaired driver on the road, contact local law enforcement. Your actions could help save someone’s life.
  • Wet leaves can make roads more slippery than ice. Leaves have a tendency to pile up at stop signs where traffic is not usually moving fast enough to keep the intersections clear of the leaves. Slow down before entering curves and give yourself more time to stop when there are leaves present on the roads. Drive as if the roads are icy.
slippery when wet
  • Do NOT park your car on top of leaves. The heat from your vehicle's engine and exhaust system can ignite dry leaves.

Shopping for Holiday Gifts

  • Black Friday shopping tip - Don't take your eyes off your shopping cart, especially if you have an item that is no longer on the shelves!

  • Shopping with a single credit card is safer because it’s easier to cancel one card than several, if a wallet or purse gets lost or stolen.

  • When shopping online, use secure connections and only shop at websites you trust.

  • Confirm all purchases, online and in-store, and save all receipts. Receipts are needed to make exchanges, refunds, and to dispute an incorrect charge.

  • Know your rights when it comes to refunds, cancellations, returns, layaways, bait and switch, and rain-checks.

  • Report lost or stolen credit, debit, and ATM cards immediately. Acting fast limits liability for unauthorized charges.

  • Know gift card rules. Gift cards may have an expiration date which must be clearly marked and gift cards not clearly marked with both a date of issuance and a date of expiration are valid forever.

  • Make sure to bring a bottle of water and a few light snacks. Spending hours wading through shoppers and stores can leave people exhausted and dehydrated.

  • When shopping, be aware of other people around you. Look up every once in awhile and look around. Thieves are targeting people who are not paying attention to their surroundings. Keep your purse close to you at all times and put wallets in your front pocket. Put credit cards in a RFID shielded wallet and be sure that no one can see you entering your pin number.

  • Remember where you parked and walk directly to your car with your keys in hand. Try not to walk alone. Wait a moment for a group to walk out and walk out with them (safety in numbers). Check around your vehicle and inspect the interior through the window before entering. Quickly unlock the car stow gifts in the trunk and lock the doors as soon as you are in the car.

Have a Safe and Enjoyable Thanksgiving Holiday!

- Sheriff Bob Nolan.

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Revised on November 19, 2020

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