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Christmas Trees and Driving Safety

Be sure to properly secure your Christmas tree to your car when you transport it from the lot or farm this year – improperly securing it could result in damage to your car, and injury to yourself or other individuals.

A Christmas tree can scratch paint and damage the windows on your car to the tune of $1,500.  More importantly, a tree that is not tied down properly can quickly become harmful to those driving near you. Christmas trees that fall off cars become road debris. According to AAA, two thirds of crashes related to debris are the result of items falling off of vehicles, and road debris in general was responsible for more than 200,000 crashes, including 500 deaths, in a four year span.

An estimated 20 million Americans who bought a Christmas tree between 2014 and 2017 did not tie it down to their car properly, according to a AAA survey. Drivers in  Pennsylvania and New Jersey can face fines up to $1,000 if something falls from a vehicle and causes property damage or injury to another individual. A driver can be found liable if an item, such as a Christmas tree, is not properly secured to their vehicle and it comes loose, causing injury or property damage.

AAA recommends that you keep those around you safe by:

  • Using a car with a roof rack OR a car that can fit a tree inside with the doors closed;
  • Avoid thin twine or rope provided by the tree sellers. Bring your own strong rope or nylon;
  • Secure the tree at three points: bottom, center and top;
  • Make sure the tree can’t move from side to side or front to back by giving strong tugs in different directions; and
  • Drive slowly, avoiding highways if possible.

Stay safe this Christmas season and remember to contact our office if you suffer an injury at the hands of a negligent driver.

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