Are you purchasing a live Christmas tree this year? Many families make it a tradition to select a live tree each year.  While some families may choose their tree from a local tree lot, some families choose to visit a Christmas tree farm to choose and cut that special tree to take home to decorate.

Whether you purchase a live tree from a local lot, home improvement store, or a farm, getting your Christmas tree home safely can be a bit of a challenge. Failing to secure a tree to your vehicle properly can create a potentially dangerous situation for you and everyone else on the road. Vehicle damage and traffic crashes from improperly secured trees can cause thousands of dollars in damages.

Preventing Flying Debris on the Road

According to AAA, flying debris from vehicles caused more than 200,000 traffic crashes, 500 deaths, and 39,000 injuries during the past four years. Christmas trees that are not properly secured can pose a serious threat.  Therefore, AAA offers the following suggestions for ensuring that your tree is secured properly to your vehicle to reduce the risk of an accident caused by road debris.

  • Make sure you use the right materials to secure the tree. Many tree lots, stores, and farms offer twine to their customers. However, twine is not sufficient. Take quality straps and tie downs with you to secure the tree for transport.
  • If you have a small passenger vehicle, consider renting or borrowing a truck or a vehicle with a luggage rack. It is more difficult to secure a tree to a vehicle that is not properly equipped to haul bulky or large items.
  • Protect your tree and make it easier to secure by having the tree wrapped in netting before you secure it to your vehicle.
  • To prevent damage to your vehicle, use an old blanket or other covering under the tree to prevent scratches.
  • Make sure to tug on the tree to test whether the tree is securely fastened down before leaving the lot.
  • Drive slowly and cautiously on the way home. You are not in a race. Take your time so you can reduce the risk of a traffic accident while transporting a Christmas tree. Consider using side or back roads that will be less crowded with slower speed limits — avoid the interstate and highway whenever possible.

What Should You Do If You Are in an Accident Caused by Road Debris?

If you are injured by flying road debris, the person who failed to secure a load properly can be held liable for your damages. Even if you cannot identify the person who caused the crash, you might still be entitled to recover damages under your insurance policy. We urge you to report the accident to the police and your insurance company immediately and to call our office to speak with a New Orleans car accident attorney for free.

Contact Attorney Fred Olinde of The Olinde Firm by calling (504) 587-1440 or 1-800-587-1889 to request a free consultation with a New Orleans car accident attorney. Our law firm accepts most car accident cases on a contingency fee basis. Therefore, it does not cost you anything to get our advice and you do not pay our attorney fees until we win your case.