Dearborn County Sheriff Mike Kreinhop
(Dearborn County, Ind.) – Dearborn County Sheriff Mike Kreinhop is offering citizens some reminders about staying safe during the holiday shopping season and when driving in Winter conditions.
The sheriff released a general list of Wintertime pointers Tuesday:
Weather Can Change in Indiana Quickly
The combination of long distance travel and a relatively short time period can turn deadly. In order to avoid becoming a statistic you should get plenty of rest before driving, avoid alcohol and wear your seat belts.
The holiday coincides with the firearm deer season, which means hunters will add to the numbers on the road during the high travel holiday. A large deer herd, combined with large numbers of cars on the road, creates a high probability for collisions. In 2011 53,592 deer-vehicle crashes were reported. These crashes caused 1,295 injuries and 8 deaths.
The best way to avoid a deer/car collision is to slow your car down and proceed with caution. Deer travel together, if you see one chances are others are coming so please proceed with caution.
Remember to heed deer crossing signs. If you do hit a deer make sure you report it to your local police or Sheriff’s Office.
Despite statistics showing that seat belt usage in the U.S. has increased over the years with about 9 out of every 10 travelers now buckling up, there is still room for improvement. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that if all drivers and passengers wore seatbelts, approximately 8,000 lives a year would be spared nationwide.
With the arrival of winter weather coming any day the Indiana Sheriffs’ Association suggests the following safety tips for safe travel:
Winter driving tips:
-Check your tires, engine oil, antifreeze, and brakes before embarking on a trip
-Buckle up, and make sure your passengers do too
-Reduce speed in snow, sleet, and rain.
-Allow yourself plenty of braking space in wet weather
-Lightly pump your brakes on wet roads when slowing the vehicle
-Never venture down unplowed roads
-Avoid distractions such as talking on your cell phone or eating
-Keep headlights on and use low beams in fog
-Listen to the radio for information on local road and weather conditions
-Pull off the road if you're tired or if outside conditions worsen
-If you break down, don't venture more than 100 yards from your vehicle to seek help
Things to include in your vehicle during winter driving:
-Map of the area where you’re traveling
-Flashlight (with extra batteries)
-Candle (for heat and light)
-Snowbrush and ice-scraper
-Package of cat litter (for tire traction)
-Hats, weather proof gloves and boots, and a heavy blanket
-Matches and flares
-Cell phone (for emergency use only)
Tips to Keep You Safe
The holidays, a time for cheer, hope and joy are here, but with them can come an increase in crime. Crooks love the holidays as much as everyone else because they represent an increased opportunity. To help your shopping go safely the Indiana Sheriffs’ Association offers the following tips:
-Stay alert and be aware of what’s going on around you.
-Deter pickpockets and purse-snatchers. Carry a purse close to your body, not dangling by the straps. Put your wallet in an inside coat or front pants pocket.
-Never leave your purse unattended in a shopping cart.
-Never carry large amounts of cash. Whenever possible use credit cards, debit cards or checks.
-Park in a well-lighted space, and be sure to lock the car, close the windows and hide shopping bags and gifts in the trunk.
-When returning to your car or home always have your keys in hand, ready to open the door.
-Before entering your vehicle carefully check the front and rear seats and floors for anyone that may be hiding there.
-Shop with friends or relatives. There is safety in numbers.
-Teach your children to go to a store clerk or security guard if you get separated.
PREPARE YOUR HOME FOR HOLIDAY ABSENCES
Take Steps to Avoid Being a Target for Burglars!
As family and friends reunite this holiday season many leave their houses empty, which is tempting to burglars. The Indiana Sheriffs' Association encourages you to take the following steps to make your absence less noticeable and your home less attractive to burglars.
-Remember to lock all doors and windows – even the doors that open into your garage. Those garage doors are easier to open than you think.
-Make sure your locks are sturdy – all entry doors should have deadbolts. If your entry doors have windows in them make sure your deadbolt is keyed on both sides and DON’T leave the key in the inside lock.
-Make sure you put your newspaper and mail delivery on hold before you leave. Burglars really do look for piled up newspapers and mail as a sign your home is empty. Leaving mail unattended for days also opens you up to potential identity theft.
-Make arrangements for a neighbor to create car and foot tracks to your house if it snows while you’re gone. You should arrange for someone to shovel your sidewalks and driveway while you’re away too.
-A loud TV or radio can be a better deterrent than the best alarm system. If you’re reluctant to leave your TV on while you’re out of town you can buy a device which works on a timer and simulates the flickering glow of a real television.
-Make sure someone you trust in your neighborhood knows you’re out of town so they can watch for anything suspicious. Nosy neighbors are a great deterrent because burglars will break a window to get in knowing that most people will stop if they hear a sound but if the sound doesn’t repeat they will shrug it off. Your neighbor is more likely to call the police if they know you’re out of town and it can’t be you making that noise.
-Avoid announcing your vacation on Facebook or any other social networking site. It’s easier than you think to find your address.
HOLIDAY SHOPPING ON-LINE?
Safety Tips to Avoid ID Theft
On-line shopping is a great way to save time, travel and money, but it can be a hazard if you don't take steps to protect your identity. The Indiana Sheriffs' Association has several tips to help make your on-line shopping experience a safe one.
-Never give out your Social Security number! Reputable on-line merchants should never require you to submit your social security number.
-Only shop using secure Web sites. Most websites will have a pop up screen indicating that they have a security certificate, a “lock” should also appear in the bottom corner of your browser window. Use only reputable Web sites that you are familiar with. Unfamiliar companies can be checked by searching the Better Business Bureau Web site at www.bbb.org .
-Check out the merchant’s privacy and security policies. Some merchants ask for personal information to sell to other merchants, direct marketers, and even telemarketers. Read their on-line privacy and security policies so that you know where your information is going. Some merchants will allow you to opt out of giving this information.
-Avoid “spam” by creating an e-mail account that you use only for ordering. With Yahoo and Hotmail among others offering free e-mail accounts it’s easy to create a secondary account that you use to place on-line orders. Any e-mails you receive to that account would then be solely order confirmations and unsolicited emails. Making it easier for you to ignore seemingly legitimate phishing scams. Never respond to unsolicited emails asking you for personal information. Legitimate sites such as Pay Pal will never send you an email asking for personal information. If you receive such an email do not click on the link, this may direct you to a fraudulent website. Open a new browser window, type in the legitimate website, and follow their instructions for reporting a suspected fraudulent email.
-Use the same credit card when making all on-line purchases. If you use only one credit card for all your on-line purchases it will make it easier for you to track them and identify any fraudulent transactions. Fraudulent transactions can result from on-line merchants mishandling your credit card information. If you use a card that has a relatively low credit limit this can also prevent thieves from obtaining authorizations for large purchases.
-Watch those shipping charges. Carefully check and compare shipping and handling charges before ordering. Some merchants will add 10% to 15% to the purchase price, making what seemed like a great deal into a bad deal. Keep in mind there are lots of on-line merchants that will give you free shipping if you meet a minimum purchase amount, but if you go below that amount it can cost a lot!
-Print out and keep all copies of receipts. Keep all you receipts in an organized file that you can easily access in case of any problems. Matching those receipts with the packing lists that come with the products will ensure you receive everything that you ordered.
Sheriff Mike Kreinhop and The Indiana Sheriffs’ Association Wishes you and your family a safe winter season and Happy Holidays!