Family shopping togetherBryan Lovell, Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office

The transition from fall to winter is upon us, bringing changing routines as people, businesses and government offices gear up for the upcoming holiday and winter season. As this transition continues, keep a few things in mind you might not consider during the warmer months.

Road conditions:

It’s getting colder outside, which brings changes in the roads that motorists haven’t seen in a while. This time of year also brings extra holiday, shopping and winter recreation travel to the area. Idaho’s weather can aggressively change road conditions, catching unaware drivers by surprise and possibly causing a crash.

Road safety tips:

  • Use extra caution and consider the added hazards such as lower visibility and snow covered or icy roads.
  • Clear your windows of ice and snow so you have the fullest visibility possible.
  • Give yourself extra time to get to where you are going and extra space between vehicles traveling around you.
  • Have extra clothing and items necessary to sustain life in the event of being stranded in severe weather.
  • ALWAYS wear your seatbelt and have young children property secured in a car seat or booster seat.
  • Make sure you have properly inflated tires that are in safe condition and your head lights, tail lights, brake lights and signal lights are functioning.
  • Avoid distracted driving of any kind. Cell phones, technology, personal items and even occupants in and around your vehicle can be a distraction.
Vehicle burglaries:

This time of year brings larger groups of people in our retail and shopping areas, which brings an increased opportunity for criminals to steal your valuables. A large number of our vehicle burglaries happen to those who fail to lock, or are unaware their vehicle was left unlocked. Burglars can move through a parking lot or area very quickly and disappear with no one noticing.

Burglary prevention tips:

  • Take a few extra minutes to pick a parking spot that’s well lit, easily seen by other people in the area or possibly in view of security cameras.
  • Ensure all valuables are securely put away so “would-be” criminals have less to take interest in.
  • Make sure your vehicle is locked before walking away.
Holiday shopping:

Shopping during this time of year, whether at a store or online, can also attract criminals who are after your personal and financial information.

Holiday shopping tips:

  • Take notice of how secure your money and credits cards are when you carry them, pull them out at the register or use them online.
  • Watch out for distractions that cause you to momentarily lose track of your wallet or purse while shopping or at the register.
  • Notice those around you in case someone is paying special attention to your money or credit cards and where you store them.
  • Use a trusted site for online purchases and make sure your computer and Internet have some level of maintained security. Be suspicious of Internet ads and emails that might not link to legitimate businesses or outlets.
  • Keep a close eye on your accounts and where you use your cards so you can be alerted quickly of fraudulent activity. There are several well-respected private services that can monitor your
  • credit, financial accounts and personal information in addition to your own personal measures.

While there’s no guarantee you won’t fall victim to a crime or vehicle crash, you will definitely decrease the risk by taking an evaluation of your own practices and being aware. Southeast Idaho is a fantastic place to recreate, shop and live, and by practicing safe habits, you can help keep it that way.