Stay safe during your holiday shopping with these tips

People across the Miami Valley will fill the shopping center for the holiday shopping season.

The morning of Black Friday, we were in Beavercreek speaking to Ohio State Highway Patrol spokesman Sheldon Goodrum.

Goodrum said that shoppers should do their best to be alert and patient while driving.

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“Expect the congestion and the traffic,” he said. “We know that there’s going to be a lot of people out on the road, so give yourself extra time and be cognizant of people around you in parking areas or crosswalks.”

When you arrive at the store, Goodrum said, before you leave your car, you should make sure that any valuables left in the car are put in the trunk, under a seat, or somewhere else out of sight.

You should also scan the area and pay attention to the people around you when walking to and from the vehicle.

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Finally, while shopping, Goodrum offered a number of tips.

First, keep your wallet, keys and cellphone in the front pocket of your coat or pants, and if you carry a purse, hold it under your arm.

Also, have a plan for your day, so that if someone needed to reach you or find you, they will know where you were going to be and at what times. It may also be helpful to share your location using your phone. This will help police find you much faster if needed.

When you reach a new location, set a pre-determined meeting spot. Then, if you become separated, you can go to that spot and find each other even if your phone dies.

Finally, have contact information written down or memorized, just in case you can’t use your phone to look it up.

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All in all, Goodrum said that the most common report of this time of year is crashes.

“Slow down, and be patient,” he said.

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