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Do you know where your keys are? Safety tips for Black Friday, holiday shopping

GLASGOW, UNITED KINGDOM - DECEMBER 19: Shoppers look for Christmas gifts on the high street on December 19, 2014 in Glasgow,Scotland. With less than a week until Christmas, traditional high street retailers already under pressure from online shopping, will be hoping that the retail sales boost generated by Black Friday will continue. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

OKLAHOMA CITY – Millions of Americans are expected to hit the stores this weekend, so AAA Oklahoma has a few safety tips to make sure you can enjoy your shopping trips.

“Shoppers need to be aware of their surroundings, practice patience while searching for a parking space, and avoid distractions while out and about,” said Leslie Gamble, manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Oklahoma.

During Thanksgiving weekend last year, keys locked in vehicles accounted for the most calls AAA received for assistance in Oklahoma.

 “It’s unusual for lockouts to surpass calls for dead batteries,” Gamble said, “so that shows how distracted shoppers and travelers can become when hurrying about and out of typical routines. Know where your keys are and consistently put them in the same place to avoid the need for AAA’s help.”

AAA’s safety tips are as follows:

  1. Look out for children and distracted pedestrians. Last Thanksgiving weekend, three pedestrians were killed in Oklahoma.
  2. Hide your purchases but not your keys. Also, don’t forget to lock your car and keep track of your keys.
  3. Stay on guard in parking lots.
  4. See and be seen. Experts suggest using headlights in parking garages even in the daytime, and avoid parking between two tall SUVs or minivans.
  5. Slow down, buckle up and obey the laws.
  6. Head for the side door. Most secondary entrances have less traffic.
  7. Play the outfield. Outlying areas tend to have more open spaces, lighter traffic and a lower risk of collision.
  8. Refrain from reverse. If possible, avoid backing out of a space.
  9. Stay on track and alert while walking. Pedestrians should use walkways and crosswalks, and avoid distractions.
  10. Remember where you parked.
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