For many Michiganders, the beginning of December and the coming weekend signals the traditional time to bring home a fresh-cut Christmas tree. Based on information from a new survey, AAA is urging motorists to take extra steps to safely secure Christmas trees for transporting.
“A new 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, so we want to help people prevent dangerous road debris.”
That’s Susan Hiltz with AAA Michigan. She says vehicle damage that results from an improperly secured Christmas tree, such as scratched paint, torn door seals and distorted window frames, could cost up to $1,500 to repair. In addition to vehicle damage, Christmas trees that are not properly secured are a safety hazard for other drivers. AAA urges all drivers to transport their Christmas trees safely this holiday season.
“Use the right vehicle, use a blanket to protect your vehicle, put trunk toward front of car and drive slowly when transporting that vehicle.”
According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, road debris – which could include objects like improperly secured Christmas trees that fly off cars was responsible for more than 200,000 crashes that resulted in 39,000 injuries and 500 deaths over the past four years. from a vehicle.
Hiltz also says drivers can face hefty fines and penalties as well as jail time if an unsecured tree falls off their vehicle.
“We want to help people avoid fines, which could range from 5 dollars to 5000 dollars, if you got an unsecured tree or you cause an accident; and we just want people to have a safe and happy holiday but let’s avoid those holiday hazards and make sure it’s real secure when you’re transporting it.”