BCAA offers tips to get that tree home safely
BURNABY, BC, Dec. 5, 2013 /CNW/ - A Christmas tree may be pretty in the
living room, but it can be dangerous when transported incorrectly. As
B.C. residents prepare for the holidays, the British Columbia
Automobile Association (BCAA) warns that transporting a poorly secured
tree can turn into a serious road hazard, endangering other drivers.
"Even if it's a short trip from the tree lot to home, motorists need to
think about the safety of themselves and others, says Ken Cousin,
associate vice president of BCAA Road Assist. "A lot can happen in a
short trip. An unsecured load can shift, making the car difficult to
drive or steer, or the tree can fall or be catapulted from the vehicle
According to Cousin, ratchet straps are the most effective way to secure
a Christmas tree. In a collision, bungee cords can fail miserably. In a
crash test study conducted by German Automobile Club, Allgemeiner Deutscher
Automobil-Club (ADAC), bungee cords used to secure a Christmas tree
were shredded upon impact. Cousin strongly advises using ratchet style
tie-downs to keep the tree tight and secure.
A study by the American Automobile Association Foundation for Traffic
Safety estimates that vehicle-related road debris causes approximately
25,000 collisions and close to 100 deaths each year in North America.
Unsecured items that become debris include mattresses, home
furnishings, and building materials. According to ADAC, when objects
travelling at 50 km per hour come to a sudden stop, they can take on 25
times their own weight. A 30 kg tree, for example, would hit its target
with the force of an object that weighs a whopping 750 kg.
"People may think that it's no big deal to throw a tree or any large
object on the roof or in the back of a vehicle and that nothing will
happen, but they're wrong. We encourage people to come to the tree lot
prepared and ensure the tree is tightly in place before they drive
BCAA will demonstrate how to safely secure a Christmas tree on Thursday,
December 5th at 10:00 am at the Aunt Leah's tree lot located at the St.
Stephen's United Church, 54th and Granville Street, Vancouver, B.C. - Map.
BCAA offers the following tips to get that tree home safely this holiday
Vehicle roof transport
With the base of the tree facing forward, sling ratchet straps around
the base, middle and tip of the tree then fasten to the roof rack. This
should prevent lateral movement in the event of wind or a hard stop.
The tree should be secured according to Division 35 of the BC Motor Vehicle Act Regulations.
Trunk or seat back transport
The base of the tree, when possible, should lean up against the back
seat or back-rest.
It should then be fastened to the trunk floor with ratchet straps. The
rear door or trunk should also be secured tightly down so that it
doesn't fly open.
Tree transport driving tips
Stay a safe distance back from traffic and drive within the posted speed
Use your turn signals. Ensure they're working properly and that they can
Trees that extend more than one metre beyond the front of the car, or
more than a half metre at the rear, must have a flag attached during
the day and lamps at night. Visit Division 4.20 in the BC Motor Vehicle Act Regulations for details on the use of lamps or flags on front and rear projections.
For a detailed list of tips on how to safely secure and transport a
Christmas tree, and for other tips on keeping your vehicle and home
safe during the holidays, visit bcaa.com/holidaysafety.
BCAA is one of the most trusted organizations in British Columbia,
serving one in four B.C. households. With over 800,000 Members, BCAA
provides an array of home, auto and travel insurance services, and is
renowned for its legendary roadside assistance. J.D. Power has ranked
BCAA "Highest In Customer Satisfaction among Home Insurance Providers
in Western Canada" two years in a row (2012 and 2013) - details at
jdpower.com. Now in its 107th year, BCAA has over $460 million in
annual sales, 27 locations and over 900 employees. To learn more about
the benefits of BCAA Membership, visit bcaa.com. For more information on the BCAA Road Safety Foundation visit bcaaroadsafety.com.
SOURCE: British Columbia Automobile Association
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