Winter Driving Includes Transporting a Christmas Tree
It may be a scene outside of a Griswold Christmas, the famous family navigating the snowy roads experiencing winter driving with.... a Christmas tree strapped to the roof of their car. We all know that the Griswold’s don’t have much luck when it comes to Christmas and a lot can happen in a short trip transporting the Christmas tree.
An unsecured load such as a Christmas tree can easily shift, making a car difficult to steer or drive. The tree can fall or fly off the car roof, making it a danger to its own vehicle or the vehicles around it. Unsecured items that become airborne including items such as home furnishings, mattresses and Christmas trees, that when traveling at 50km per hour can when making a sudden stop become 25 times their own weight.
Contrary to popular belief, ropes and bungee cords are not the best way to secure a Christmas tree to a car rooftop. Most automobile associations suggest using a ratchet strap. These straps are considered to be a safe way to transport a load. The mechanism if locked in correctly will prevent the straps from coming loose. Ratchet straps are the preferred way to tie down a Christmas tree to a vehicle’s roof.
Christmas Tree Winter Driving Transporting Tips
- Strapping down the Christmas tree with a ratchet strap is just as important as how you position the tree on a vehicle’s roof. Ensure that the tree stump is positioned forward on your car roof. The ratchet strap should be wrapped around the stump and secured to your roof rack. This process should be repeated in the middle and at the tip of the tree. This should prevent any back and forth movement in the event of a wind gust or unpredicted stop.
- If you are thinking of transporting your Christmas tree in the trunk or back seat, where possible, lean the base of the tree against the back seat or back headrest. The ratchet straps should secure the tree to the trunk floor. The trunk door should then be secured down tightly to prevent it from flying open. If your tree extends significantly beyond the front or back of your vehicle, attach a flag to the end to indicate where it ends, for your protection and for surrounding vehicles.
- Most importantly, ensure that you keep a safe distance from the surrounding traffic and drive according to the speed limit. Use your indicators when you decide to change lanes and signal when you make a turn. Winter driving is challenging enough but when you add a tree to your roof, the challenges can multiply.
If you are feeling a bit uncomfortable driving this winter, consider taking a winter driving course... it could save you from a Griswold Christmas!