Ways to Avoid Injury on Black Friday

As we all know, Black Friday is the busiest shopping day of the year. People wait in line for hours to find the best bargains, and the crowds can be intense. In fact, the possibility of an injury on the premises of stores is a real possibility. It’s important to stay safe on such a busy holiday weekend.

The San Francisco Chronicle notes a few of the pitfalls of past Black Fridays. Here are a few things to watch out for.

• Huge amounts of people. It’s rare that mobs get dangerous in this country, but it’s happened before. In 2008, eager customers crashed through the front door of a Wal-Mart store and trampled an employee to death. Four shoppers were injured as well. If you’re in a setting with a large amount of people in a small space, be careful. Even some relatively minor pushing and shoving can lead to injuries.

• Traffic. Lots of shoppers means lots of people out and about. The roads may be more congested, as could sidewalks. Store parking lots will be packed, and it’s important to remember – whether walking or driving – to keep a lookout for your own safety.

• Violence. Last year, a woman at a Toys ‘R’ Us store apparently cut in front of a long line of people. When they protested, she threatened to get a gun and shoot them. She was later arrested. At another Toys ‘R’ Us store years earlier, two men shot each other in a parking lot on Black Friday. Store officials denied it was related to a shopping frenzy, however.

These cases are extreme, but they are real. Black Friday is meant to be fun, so let’s keep it that way by protecting yourself and others from injury.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle, “5 pitfalls of shopping on Black Friday,” Annie Mueller, Nov. 8, 2011


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