Christmas is right around he corner, and people throughout the Tampa Bay area are busy making preparations for the holiday season. Many of us started decorating as soon as the Thanksgiving leftovers were put away (or some of us decked the halls before Turkey Day!) but there are still people gearing up to make sure their homes are ready for the upcoming festivities and that means getting a Christmas tree. If you are a stickler for tradition, you might insist on a real tree every year, and we understand! The fresh, evergreen scent, the beauty of bringing the outdoors in, and the fun of decorating a unique tree each year are just a few reasons why real Christmas trees are a popular choice with many. However, getting your tree home can be a challenge, and if you don’t do it the right way, it can end up costing you in damages and legal fees. Christmas trees coming dislodged from the roof or back end of your vehicle could not only damage your own vehicle, but can lead to accidents with other drivers as well, and you would be held liable for the injuries and damages if you failed to properly secure your tree for the journey home.
Remember these tips when it’s time to make the trek from the tree farm, the hardware store, or the local big box provider with your evergreen in tow:
- Wrap the tree before transport! Many providers offer both twine and heavy-duty plastic netting or sheeting for wrapping and tying down your tree. Wrapping the tree makes it more aerodynamic, and also makes it easier to security fasten to the top of your car. Bonus: it protects it from wind damage as you travel home.
- If you have a roof rack, use heavy rope or bungee cords to securely fasten the tree in multiple points from the truck all the way to the top where the branches end. If you don’t have a roof rack, open all of the windows on the car, and wrap the rope all the way through the interior of the car, bringing it back up over the tree multiple times. Overkill is a good thing in this case. The more tie down points, the better.
- Turn the tree with the trunk facing the FRONT of the car.
- Drive slowly and use back roads or side roads when possible. Yes, people might be annoyed…but better annoyed drivers behind you than angry drivers ready to exchange insurance information because your tree went through their windshield when you reached highway speeds!
- When it doubt, have it shipped out! Many tree farms and big box providers offer delivery options for their real Christmas trees. Not only does this save you a Christmas errand during an already busy season, but it also removes the risk of you being liable for damages due to a dislodged tree, and you don’t have to go through the trouble of trying it down if your car isn’t capable of handling the load.
If you or someone you love finds themselves in an unexpected situation regarding the negligence of another driver this holiday season (even if it doesn’t involve a Christmas tree), Sessums Law Group is here and ready to STAND FOR YOU! We are Tampa Bay’s number one choice for representation following damages or injuries due to vehicle accidents and collisions, thanks to our experienced and highly qualified team, and our personalized service for each client. We give our best to each case, so give us a call and see how we can help you.