‘Tis the season when many people will tie a Christmas tree to the roof of their cars to bring home. But what happens if your Christmas tree falls off of your car and causes serious injuries to someone? Research from AAA shows that 44 percent of Americans admit transporting a tree unsafely, and 16 percent say they have had a Christmas tree fall off of their vehicle on the way home. You have to remember that once you drive off the lot with the Christmas tree it is the driver’s responsibility to make sure it does not wind up being a hazard on the road.
Secure Cargo or Face Negligence Allegations
If the tree flies into oncoming traffic and causes an accident, anyone who is injured in the crash can file a lawsuit against you and sue for damages. Remember, if your vehicle does not have a roof rack, tying a tree to the roof of your car is probably not a good idea. Improperly fastened cargo can lead to serious legal consequences. If someone is harmed as a result of your falling Christmas tree you could be sued for negligence.
How to Avoid Turning Your Christmas Tree into a Road Hazard
Road debris caused more than 200,000 crashes and 500 fatalities between 2013 and 2017. To avoid becoming a statistic this year, here are some things to consider before you pick out a Christmas tree and attempt to get it home safely:
- A Christmas tree is usually at least six feet tall and weighs between 50 to 70 pounds. So the best way to transport a Christmas tree is by using a roof rack rather than tying the tree to the roof and using the doors and windows to secure the tree.
- Make sure the trunk of the tree is facing the front of the car to minimize wind damage to the tree.
- Keep the netting on the tree until you get home because it helps secure the tree to your vehicle.
- Avoid driving fast or making sharp turns if you want to avoid losing control of your vehicle and causing an injury accident.
- Use quality tie-downs such as strong rope or bungee cords instead of lightweight twine offered by the tree lots.
- Maintain clear visibility by making sure the windows are clear of any foliage.
- If you can fold your rear seats down flat and transport the tree inside your car, that would be even better. You should also secure it so that if it shifts no one inside the vehicle is injured.
Contact a Barrington Car Accident Injury Attorney
If you or a loved one is injured in a car accident caused by a Christmas tree or any other debris contact [[title]] to discuss your legal options. Call [[phone]] for a free consultation with one of our skilled Cook County car accident injury attorneys.