BURNSVILLE, MN – Families are chomping at bit to decorate and bring holiday spirit into their homes. Once the perfect tree is picked, the hardest part of transporting the tree home soon follows.
AAA reminds people to safely drive their authentic trees back to their houses. Research shows that over a four-year period, road debris causes 200,000 crashes. This includes accidents regarding improperly secured Christmas trees. With hospitals crowded due to COVID-19, it is important to avoid preventable incidents.
There are fines in place for losing items from a car. These penalties range from $10 to $5,000. Some states even have jail time as a possible punishment for this offense.
Here are some tips for safe Christmas tree shopping and transportation this winter.
Do not visit a tree lot while experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. Calling the tree lot ahead of time is a good idea. Ask a worker when the lots slowest hours are and plan on shopping then. It is recommended that a face covering be worn while tree shopping.
The most important thing to remember while moving a tree is for it to be fastened tightly. The safest way to fasten a tree is strapping it to the roof rack or placing the tree inside of the vehicle, like the bed of a pickup or the back of an SUV.
Make sure to wrap the tree in netting. Also, rope can be used to secure loose branches. Loop the rope around the trunk and above a branch to prevent movement. Use fixed vehicle tie down points and nylon straps or strong rope.
Placing the tree with the trunk toward the front is the safest position. Once the tree is tied down, pull and tug firmly on the tree from many angles before taking off. This will test if the tree is secure or not.
Lastly, drive slowly on the way home with a tree attached. Otherwise, damage or loosening could occur to the tree.
For more information, visit AAA website here.