TWIN FALLS — With Christmas about three weeks away, families across the United States are setting up their decorations and are looking to find the perfect Christmas tree for the family. While it may sound like an ordinary task, some risks come with bringing your Christmas tree home.
Officials are working to remind people how important it is to make sure that the tree is properly secured to your vehicle.
“Well, you would think that it’s fairly uncommon, but 60% of the people we’ve talked to have had a tree previously fly out of their vehicle or off the roof rack," said Matthew Conde, the Public Affairs Director for AAA in Idaho.
Some other numbers that AAA shared showed that 44% of Americans admit to transporting a Christmas tree using unsafe methods. 20% of people would tie the tree to the roof of their car without using a roof rack. Another 24% placed the tree in the bed of their pickup truck unsecured.
Due to those stats, AAA is educating people on the many hazards that come without properly tying a tree down.
“So, having a tree not being properly secured can cost up to $1,500 in vehicle damage," said Conde. "We’re talking about scratching, denting, things like that. Certainly, if it comes off and hits another vehicle, now we’re talking about major insurance issues, potential injury, maybe even loss of life.”
There are multiple ways to ensure your tree stays put, with one of the most effective methods being to use a thicker rope.
“Put it trunk first and secure it in three different places, so, bottom, middle, top," said Conde. "You want to try to tug on it from all kinds of different angles and just make sure that it’s going to stay up there. Last but not least, of course, you want to have the right vehicle for the job.”
Lloyd Family Christmas Trees is one of many local tree farms that serve the Magic Valley. They have been doing so for 68 years and have even delivered trees to other states. Those working at Lloyd Family Christmas Trees expressed that while it may take extra time to tie the tree down properly, it's better to be safe than sorry.
“We’re going to take 50 cents worth of string, and tie down your car, and that will save you a $20,000 car wreck," Logan Lloyd, the Co-Owner of Lloyd Family Christmas trees, "Or the $100, $75, $60 tree you just bought. It’s a no-brainer to me.”
As the Christmas season ramps up, Lloyd Family Christmas Trees expects a lot of business and they're more than willing to lend a helping hand.
“Let us tie it on for you," said Lloyd. "If you’re going to do it yourself, please be really careful and take the time to do it. Because everyone wants to have a safe and Merry Christmas.”