According to a AAA survey, an estimated 20 million Americans who purchased a real Christmas tree in the last three years did not properly secure it to their vehicle, risking serious vehicle damage and endangering others on the road.
“If you’re not properly transporting your tree, that can cause vehicle damage,” said Shawn Steward with AAA Kansas. “It can cause road hazards for other drivers should that tree come unlodged and fly off your vehicle. You can also face a traffic ticket for an unsecured load.”
In Kansas, there are about 150 “unsecured load crashes” each year, resulting in an average of one or two fatalities.
“We recommend that you always have a rack on the top of your vehicle if you’re going to transport a Christmas tree on top,” said Steward. “You need to make sure that you’re not wrapping twine through the doorjambs or open windows. That can cause serious vehicle damage, such as scratched paint, torn door seals or distorted window frames. That damage can cost up to $1500 to repair.”
If you do not have a roof rack, use the bed of a pickup truck or an SUV, van or minivan that can fit the tree inside with all doors closed.
“Make sure that the trunk is facing toward the front,” said Steward. “That’s going to decrease wind resistance and not only protect the tree, but also the chances of that tree flying off your vehicle if it’s not secured properly.”
Take the back roads, if possible. Higher speeds create significant airflow that can damage your Christmas tree and challenge even the best tie-down methods.
Image Courtesy: AAA