As Christmas quickly approaches and everyone has the holidays on their minds, signs of upcoming festivities are popping up all over the Tampa Bay area. Christmas light displays adorn houses, shops are stocking all their Yuletide goodies and Christmas trees are beginning to fill each home throughout Hillsborough County. However, getting those trees home can be a bit of a hassle, as one family in Massachusetts found out (read more about that here). While their case might be a little over the top, the hazards that come along with hauling a major decoration, such as a Christmas tree, home from the purchase site remain the same.
So, how can you get your tree home safely, without posing a risk to yourself or others on the road?
- Bring your own rope or tie-down straps. Cinch straps work well, as would strong bungee cording. Whatever you choose, it’s best not to rely on the thin, inexpensive twine offered at the tree farms/ stores. One snap of a piece of twine and your tree might end up on the highway (or on someone else’s windshield).
- Don’t choose a tree that’s bigger than your car! If your home necessitates a large-scale tree and your own car isn’t up to the challenge, ask around to see if a friend with a large SUV or truck is willing to lend a hand. If possible, choose a vehicle with a roof rack or cargo basket, and secure the tree with the aforementioned straps or rope. If you don’t have a friend with a suitable vehicle, you can rent pickup trucks by the hour from local big-box hardware or home improvement stores.
- Use all available tools, like netting or wrapping materials. The mesh netting supplied where you purchased the tree isn’t a waste of time and effort. Having the tree bundled in the netting means loading (and unloading) will go much faster and be easier than battling rogue branches and needles hitting you in the face and scratching your walls. Having the tree bundled also makes it much easier to secure on top of your vehicle.
- Drive slowly. Always drive the speed limit (it’s there for a reason) but if you have large cargo such as a Christmas tree, it’s best to go even slower than the posted limit if possible. Taking back roads and alternative routes that are less busy and have slower speed limits might be a good choice. The higher your speed, the more likely that the tree will become wind resistant and cause problems for you and possible for others who are driving near you.
No one wants his carefully chosen Christmas tree to become a holiday liability. Use common sense and be wise when choosing, loading, and hauling your Christmas decor this season. Having your tree fall off your vehicle and injure someone else would be a costly mistake. If you or someone you know has been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, whether it was failing to properly secure items on their vehicle, or simply running a red light, you could be eligible for compensation as you recover. We are here to help you evaluate your own personal situation, and how to make sure you have what you need as you move forward. Give our Tampa injury lawyers a call and set up your appointment before the holidays. We are Tampa Bay’s top choice when selecting a legal team, because WE STAND FOR YOU, no matter what unexpected event might come your way.