DENVER -- Millions of Americans every year tie Christmas trees to their vehicles, but many are doing it the wrong way. A survey released by AAA highlights some of the surprising dangers that lead to some costly damage and injuries.
Some 20 million Americans who bought real Christmas trees over the past three years did not secure them properly to their vehicles, according to AAA.
“If your car doesn’t have a roof rack-- it’s really not structurally built to handle anything on top whether it’s a Christmas tree, skis, you name it,” said AAA Colorado spokesperson Skyler McKinley.
At the Neighborhood Christmas Tree Company in the Highlands, employees pay close attention to knots—ensuring trees won’t end up midair on I-25.
AAA tells the Problem Solvers improperly secured trees can not only fall off, they can warp doors and damage weather proof lining. The trees can also damage a paint job depending on a specific tree’s needles. Researchers say the Millennials and Generation Xers are more likely to put a Christmas tree on top of their cars without a roof rack.
Trees falling off of vehicles can lead to fines. In Colorado, if it causes injury, the driver could face 90 days in jail.
To be safe, AAA urges drivers to use the right vehicle, consider throwing down an old blanket, use some strong rope and research proper knot tying.