SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – AAA has posted some tips for drivers on how to safely transport real Christmas trees this holiday season.
Almost one in five real Christmas tree buyers said a tree fell or got out of their vehicle while trying to bring it home, according to an AAA study.
AAA adds that 44% of Americans admit to hauling a tree using unsafe methods such as tying it to the roof of their vehicle without using a roof rack or placing the tree in the bed of their unsecured van.
AAA says damage to the vehicle from an unsecured tree could cost as much as $ 1,500.
An unsecured tree could also be fatal. The AAA says road debris caused more than 200,000 crashes from 2011 to 2014, resulting in an estimated 39,000 injuries and 500 deaths.
AAA recommends hauling the tree to the top of a vehicle equipped with a roof rack, but a pickup truck, SUV, van, or van can work just as well.
AAA has offered the following tips for transporting your tree safely:
- Come prepared – bring sturdy rope or nylon ratchet straps, an old blanket, and gloves.
- Wrap and cover it – once you have found the perfect tree, ask the lot to wrap it in a net before loading it. Loose branches can also be secured with rope or twine to help protect the tree from damage.
- Protect your vehicle – Before loading the tree, cover the roof with an old blanket to avoid scratching the paint and protect the car from damage.
- Trunk first – place the tree on the roof rack or in the truck body 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.
- Secure it – tie the tree at the bottom, center and top using strong ropes or nylon ratchet straps. Avoid using the nylon offered by many sets of trees. Use fixed tie-down points for the vehicle and wrap the rope or strap around the tree trunk over a branch to prevent sideways or back and forth movement
- Tug test – once attached, pull hard on the tree from different angles to make sure it is securely in place and will not come loose.
- Nice and easy – drive slowly and take secondary roads if possible. Higher speeds can create a lot of airflow that can damage your tree or defy even the best tie-down methods.
Suggest a correction