The holidays are a favorite time of year for many people. From the gift giving and family gatherings to the confetti-throwing and New Year’s parties, there is no shortage of merriment to enjoy this season. As you enjoy the days ahead, though, don’t let your guard down. Today we are listing three unique – and perhaps surprising – hazards you might face over the Christmas and New Year holiday.
Porch Pirates Stake Out Package Deliveries
You know it’s not a good idea to leave valuable items visible in your vehicle, but did you know they are also at risk on your own private property? Every year, thieves brazenly steal packages from the front steps of houses before homeowners have a chance to retrieve their shipments. Though it is impossible to know exactly how many packages are stolen every year, one officer from the LA Police Department says the problem is growing rapidly as consumer shopping habits change. In 2015, he claims he had a 50 percent increase in the number of calls he received regarding porch theft. To avoid becoming a victim yourself, have holiday packages delivered to a pick-up location or to a home where someone can accept them. You can also request a signature on pick-up or request a tracking code to monitor the status of your delivery.
New Year’s Day is the Number One Holiday for Car Theft
In 2013, there were 2,184 cars reported stolen in the U.S. on New Year’s Day. If that number surprises you, compare it to Christmas Day just a week before, when only 1,224 cars were taken. What does that mean for you? It means you should be proactive about where you leave your vehicle, as well as more observant about your surroundings.
First and foremost, make sure you have an affordable car insurance policy that includes comprehensive coverage that will reimburse your loss if your vehicle is stolen. Next, make sure you park your vehicle only in well-lit areas and keep the doors locked at all times. As an alternative, you could leave the vehicle at home and carpool with friends to your New Year’s activities.
Nearly Half of Traffic Fatalities on New Year’s Day Involve Alcohol
Close to 10,000 people are killed by drunk drivers in the U.S. every year. While drunk driving accidents occur every day, they are particularly more common during the holidays, when there are more vehicles on the road and more drivers operating vehicles while intoxicated. The odds of you sharing the road with a drunk driver are much higher on New Year’s Eve and in the early hours of New Year’s Day. If possible, avoid driving during this time. Otherwise, pay extra attention to the behaviors of other drivers and extra attention at intersections.
If you are the one drinking, plan ahead. Drivers should not operate a vehicle after consuming any amount of alcohol since even a little can put you at risk of an accident. Buzzed driving is still impaired driving, and it puts others in danger. Instead, call a taxi or ride-sharing service. You can also designate a sober driver before you start drinking or just plan to stay the night where you are.
While bad things can happen to good people, you can lessen your chance of having to call your insurance agent over the holidays. Be smart and be safe. Most of all, have a happy holiday!