AAA Provides Safety Tips For Transporting Christmas Trees

AAA Provides Safety Tips For Transporting Christmas Trees
Courtesy of AAA.

LINCOLN – With December being highlighted by Christmas and spending time with family and friends, the trees are going up as real Christmas trees can become dangerous projectiles if not properly secured.

According to a release from AAA, make sure to get your tree home safely this holiday season.

Nothing will make you say ‘bah humbug’ faster than losing the tree you just bought on the drive home. If not properly secured, a tree can damage your vehicle or worse, fly off and become a danger to other drivers. Before you buy your tree, make sure to research the proper way to transport it or ask a professional to secure it for you.

Auto Club Group officials stated in previous AAA studies, nearly one in five real Christmas tree buyers reported having a tree fall off or out of their vehicle when trying to get it home.

Additionally, 44% of Americans admit to transporting a tree using unsafe methods. With 20% tying the tree to the roof of their vehicle without using a roof rack and 24% placing the tree in the bed of their pickup truck unsecured.

Road debris from tree mishaps, which could include objects like improperly secured Christmas trees that fly off cars and landing on the road or on other cars, caused more than 200,000 crashes from 2011-2014 resulting in approximately 39,000 injuries and 500 deaths. Also, vehicle damage that results from an improperly secured Christmas tree, such as scratched paint, torn door seals and distorted window frames, could cost up to $1,500 to repair.

It’s best to transport the tree on top of a vehicle equipped with a roof rack, but a pickup truck, SUV, van or minivan can work just as well.

Make sure to come prepared and bring a strong rope or nylon ratchet straps, an old blanket and gloves before you wrap and cover the tree. Once you’ve found the perfect tree, have the lot wrap it in netting before loading it as loose branches can also be secured with rope or twine to help protect the tree from damage. Before loading the tree, cover the roof with an old blanket to prevent scratches to the paint and protect the car from any damage.

Place the tree on the roof rack or in the bed of the truck with the tree trunk facing the front of the car. If the vehicle does not have a roof rack and is large enough, place the tree inside. Tie down the tree at its bottom, center and top using strong rope or nylon ratchet straps. Use fixed vehicle tie-down points and loop the rope or strap around the tree trunk above a branch to prevent any side-to-side or front-to-rear movement.

Once tied down, give the tree several strong tugs from various angles to make sure it is secured in place and will not come loose. Then, drive slowly and take back roads if possible. Higher speeds can create significant airflow that can damage your tree or challenge even the best tie-down methods.

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