Tis the season for finding the perfect Christmas tree. But it could also be the season of tickets if you don't secure that perfect tree properly.

Hauling a Christmas tree in your car is similar to moving furniture, appliances, or other large objects. If it's not properly secured it could land you a ticket or worse, it could fly off or out of your vehicle and cause an accident with other drivers.

44% of Americans admitted to using unsafe methods to haul Christmas trees home in a AAA survey. From not using the roof rack to just throwing it in the bed of a truck without tying it down.

Road debris caused more than 200,000 crashes during a four-year period, resulting in approximately 39,000 injuries and 500 deaths.

Hauling something on the top of your car isn't necessarily illegal in New York but it could get you a ticket with a fine of anywhere from $100 for the first offense, $350 for the second, or $750 for each offense after that.


How to Safely Transport a Christmas Tree

  • Bring strong rope or nylon ratchet straps, an old blanket, gloves, and the right vehicle. One with a roof rack is best but a pickup truck, SUV, van, or minivan can work too.
  • Have the Christmas tree lot wrap your tree in netting before loading it.
  • Cover the roof with a blanket to prevent scratches and damage from sap.
  • Place your tree on the roof rack or in the bed of your truck with the trunk facing the front of the car. If you don't have a roof rack, put the tree inside the vehicle if there is room.
  • Secure the tree at its bottom, center, and top using strong rope or nylon ratchet straps. Loop the rope or strap around the tree trunk above a branch to prevent any side-to-side or front-to-rear movement.
  • Give the tree a couple of strong tugs from various angles to make sure it is secure.
  • Drive slowly and take back roads if possible.

If you haven't picked your perfect Christmas tree yet there are several places in New York you can either cut your own, get one pre-cut, or even pick out a colored one.

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