Public Affairs Specialist, OH
O: (513) 762-3105 ext. (5503105)
C: (513) 401-4911
CINCINNATI, OH—(December 1, 2017)—The mad dash for the perfect tree to deck the halls of homes has begun and while prices are high due to a Christmas tree shortage, ensuring safety while transporting the tree and setting it up is priceless. According to a new AAA survey, an estimated 20 million Americans who purchased a live Christmas tree in the last three years did not properly secure it to their vehicle, risking serious vehicle damage and dangerous road debris. 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.
“Twine that is wrapped around trees and looped through door jambs or open windows can cause serious damage to door seals and window frames,” said Jenifer Moore, AAA spokeswoman. “Drivers should never secure a Christmas tree to the top of a vehicle without a roof rack.”
And according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, road debris – which could include objects like improperly secured Christmas trees that fly off cars, landing on the road or on other cars – was responsible for more than 200,000 crashes that resulted in 39,000 injuries and 500 deaths over the past four years. And, about two-thirds of debris-related crashes are the result of improperly secured items falling from a vehicle.
Fortunately, Christmas trees can be safely transported by taking the following steps:
Drivers can face hefty fines and penalties as well as jail time if an unsecured tree falls off their vehicle. Currently every state has laws that make it illegal for items to fall from a vehicle while on the road. Most states’ penalties result in fines ranging from $10 and $5,000, with at least 16 states listing jail as a possible punishment for offenders. Drivers can prevent injuries and avoid penalties by properly securing their loads to prevent items from falling off the vehicle.
Preventing Holiday Mishaps at Home
Christmas tree safety doesn’t stop while on the road. Once home with the perfect tree, families should also be proactive to prevent household mishaps. Fires caused by Christmas trees and decorations can lead to fatalities, millions of dollars in damage and put a damper on the holiday spirit.
Between 2011-2015, U.S. fire departments responded to an average 200 home fires per year that started with Christmas trees, according to a study by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). These fires caused an average of six deaths, 16 injuries, and $14.8 million in direct property damage annually. The study also found that electrical distribution or lighting equipment was involved in two of every five (40 percent) of home Christmas tree fires.
“It is very easy to become distracted around the home during the holidays with kids out of school, planning shopping lists and entertaining guests,” added Moore. “However it is important to remember common safety measures to protect families and homes from potentially dangerous fires.”
AAA recommends the following tips to protect your home from a holiday fire:
Who's in the Driver's Seat? The Transformation of Transportation
On Tuesday, October 17, 2017, AAA and TEDx Wilmington held the first TEDx Salon dedicated to ideas worth spreading in transportation.
This event had:
This TEDx WilmingtonSalon was organized in partnership with AAA
Go to Other AAA Clubs
This site serves residents of the AAA Club Alliance service area which includes Greater Hartford, CT Area, Cincinnati Tri-State Area, Miami County, OH, Greater Dayton, OH Area, Northwest Ohio, AAA Blue Grass & Bluefield Regions, Southern West Virginia, Kansas, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Delaware, Maryland, Washington DC, and parts of Virginia, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Write Us: AAA Club Alliance, One River Place, Wilmington, DE 19801