AAA Auto Club Urges Georgians to Properly Secure Their Christmas Trees During Transport
Many Georgians are still on the hunt for that perfect Christmas Tree, but they might be finding that prices are higher this year due to a reported shortage. One organization wants to make sure motorists get those trees to their destination safely. AAA Auto Club is urging Georgians to properly secure their Christmas Trees.
According to a recent survey by the Auto Club, an estimated 20 million Americans who purchased a real Christmas Tree in the last three years, did not properly secure it to their vehicle. Damage including scratched paint, torn door seals and distorted window frames could cost up to $1,500 to repair.
Drivers can face hefty fines and penalties as well as jail time if an unsecured tree falls off their vehicle. Currently, every state has laws that make it illegal for items to fall from a vehicle while on the road. A violator in Georgia could face a penalty of up to $5,000 or up to 12 months in prison. For more info, visit AAA.com.
AAA urges all drivers to transport their Christmas trees safely this holiday season by taking the following steps:
*Use the right vehicle. It’s best to transport a Christmas tree on top of a vehicle equipped with a roof rack. However, 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.
*Use quality tie downs. Bring strong rope or nylon ratchet straps to secure the tree to your vehicle’s roof rack. Avoid the lightweight twine offered by many tree lots.
*Protect the tree. Have the tree wrapped in netting before loading it. If netting is unavailable, secure loose branches with rope or twine.
*Protect your vehicle. Use an old blanket to prevent paint scratches and protect the vehicle finish.
*Point the trunk towards the front. Always place the tree on a roof rack or in a pickup bed with the bottom of the trunk facing the front of the vehicle.
*Tie it down. Secure the tree at its bottom, center and top. At the bottom, use fixed vehicle tie-down points and loop around the trunk above a lower branch, to prevent any side-to-side or front-to-rear movement. The center and top tie downs should be installed in a similar manner.
*Give it the tug test. Before you leave the lot, give the tree several strong tugs from various directions to make sure it is secured in place and will not blow away.
*Drive slowly and easily. 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.