During the holiday season, many families are hunting for the perfect tree. Once they find it, they must figure out how to get it home. This is an easy task if you own a pickup truck, but it can become a challenge when you are attempting to bring it home on top of your car. Cars were not designed to carry Christmas trees, and any type of large item on the roof of your car can put you at risk of an accident. Here are a few tips that will hopefully get your tree home safely, as well as make you less of a hazard on the road.
Make Sure Your Christmas Tree Is Properly Strapped Down
The last thing you want to happen when you are bringing your Christmas tree home is for it to come loose from the top of your vehicle. Depending on the direction it chooses to go, this could be an accident risk for you or other motorists around you.
The best way to make sure that this does not happen is to make sure you have the proper equipment with you to move your tree. You will need:
- Ropes, straps, or other means to secure your tree to the top of your vehicle
- Tarp or netting to wrap or cover your tree if it is not pre-wrapped
- Tape, flags, or reflectors to mark your tree if it extends beyond the length of your vehicle
One of the best ways to tie down your tree is with ratchet or tie down straps. These come in two basic styles. They are:
- Loop straps
- Two-piece straps
Both allow you to loop the strap over your tree and around the roof of your vehicle, then increase the tension of your strap until it is tight and secure. If you do not have ratchet or tie down straps, bring a length of rope. Make sure you know how to tie a good truckers or movers knot. When properly executed, either of these will keep your tree from slipping.
Ensure Your Tree Is Not Obstructing Your View
Once your tree is secured to the top of your vehicle, check your windows and mirrors before leaving the lot to make sure you are able to see. If your vision is blocked, readjust your tree so that you can see clearly.
Choose The Right Route
Consider an alternate route to get home instead of the highway. A tree coming loose when you are traveling 65–70 miles per hour is going to create a much higher accident risk than when you are driving 35–40 miles per hour. It is estimated that if your tree comes loose when you suddenly brake at 31 mph, it will generate enough force to launch it through the rear window of the car in front of you or seriously injure a pedestrian on the side of the road.
If you cannot choose a less traveled road, slow down, stay in the right hand lane, and brake slowly. Allow enough distance between you and the cars in front of you that you will have room for error if your tree goes flying.
Find Alternative Ways Of Bringing Your Tree Home
The best way to avoid your tree coming loose from the top of your vehicle is to not tie it up there in the first place. Find a tree lot that will deliver your tree to your door for a small fee, or ask a friend with a truck to pick up your tree when they pick up theirs. It may be worth you putting gas in their truck to keep you from having to figure out how to get your tree home. If all else fails, consider renting a truck for a few hours. You may even be able to find a truck for rent and a tree at a local home improvement store.
Although you may know how to get your tree home safely, there are accidents that happen every year due to the negligence of others. If you been injured in an auto accident, contact an accident attorney to have your case reviewed. They will be able to get you the compensation you deserve. Click here for more information.