This Popular Holiday Tradition Could Lead To A Hefty Fine
If your family's gearing up to bring a live Christmas tree into your home, AAA has some essential safety advice for safely transporting it from the tree farm or nursery.
The Cost Of Not Securing A Tree
Bringing home a Christmas tree without securing it properly could result in hefty fines and penalties if it falls off your vehicle, as per AAA.
State fines for unsecured loads vary, ranging from $10 to $5,000, reflecting the seriousness of the issue.
Moreover, over the past four years, AAA highlights that over 200,000 road accidents involved debris, underlining the potential dangers of improperly secured cargo.
To ensure your holiday tree arrives home safely, AAA provides these essential tips:
- Choose the right vehicle: Utilize a vehicle equipped with a roof rack for optimal transport. Alternatively, use a pickup truck, SUV, van, or minivan that can accommodate the tree with all doors closed.
- Secure with quality tie downs: Employ strong rope or nylon ratchet straps to firmly secure the tree to the vehicle's roof rack, avoiding lightweight twine often offered at tree lots.
- Protect the tree: Have the tree wrapped in netting before loading it. If netting isn't available, use rope or twine to secure loose branches.
- Safeguard your vehicle: Place an old blanket to prevent paint scratches and safeguard the vehicle's finish.
- Trunk positioning: Always position the tree with the bottom of the trunk facing the front of the vehicle when loading it onto a roof rack or into a pickup bed.
- Clear off snow or ice: Ensure the tree is free from any snow or ice to avoid obstructing visibility for other drivers.
- Properly tie down: Secure the tree at its bottom, center, and top using fixed vehicle tie-down points. Loop around the trunk above a lower branch to prevent movement.
- Conduct the tug test: Before hitting the road, give the tree several firm tugs from different angles to ensure it's securely in place.
- Drive cautiously: Opt for back roads whenever possible and maintain lower speeds as higher speeds create significant airflow that can damage the tree, despite well-executed tie-down methods.
It's crucial to note that 16 states consider jail time as a potential punishment for offenders who fail to secure their loads adequately, reinforcing the seriousness of the matter.
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