Be safe this holiday season

The holiday season brings with it many joys – seeing family and friends, celebrating faith, giving and receiving gifts.

But, the season also can create dangerous situations, including car accidents and robberies. We were reminded of this on the day before Thanksgiving when five people were injured in a car wreck on I-65 north in Calera.

With more people on the road during the holidays, it’s no surprise there’s an increase in car accidents. In fact, New Year’s Day consistently ranks as the deadliest day for alcohol-related fatalities on U.S. roads, according to AAA.

With Christmas and New Year’s holiday ahead, we’d like to remind our readers to be careful on the road. Practice defensive driving, put down your cell phone and stay under the speed limit. You should always have a designated driver or call a cab if you’re drinking.

Of course, cars can present other dangerous situations during the holidays. The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office recently launched “Lock It. Hide It. Keep It.” campaign to remind residents of the dangers of leaving valuables unattended in a car.

The three-step campaign goes as follows:

• Lock It: Lock your vehicle every time you leave it unattended and always lock your valuables in the trunk.

• Hide It: If you don’t have a trunk, hide valuables under the seats, in the glove box or other compartments within the vehicle.

• Keep It: Personal responsibility is the best prevention to safeguard personal property and to prevent becoming a victim.

Our greatest resource in keeping our communities safe is the partnership we have with our citizens,” Sheriff Chris Curry said in a press release. “It is my hope that this effort will remind our residents to be watchful and safeguard their valuables, which I suspect will have a negative impact on property crimes involving vehicles.”

Follow these tips from AAA and the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office to stay safe whether you are on or off the road.

The editorial is the opinion of the Shelby County Reporter editorial board.