The start of December is an exciting time of year – especially if you have kids! You’ll have started the advent calendars and might soon get a Christmas tree (if you haven’t already). But did you know that transporting a real tree unsafely can get you into trouble?
If the police decide that your tree isn’t safely loaded, you could face three penalty points and an unlimited fine – with the fine increasing depending on how dangerous it is to you and other road users.
Research suggests that three-quarters of drivers aren’t fully aware of how to safely load their car with long or distracting items. One in four admitted to not securing their Christmas tree at all, while one in 20 will drive home with the tree sticking out of the car. Many others tend to tie it down on the roof, even if they don’t have a roof rack.
The main thing to think about when transporting a Christmas tree is whether it is well secured. If you are carrying your tree on the outside of your vehicle, make sure it is tied down using ropes or bungee cables. You will need to be confident that the tree won’t move if you need to make a sudden manoeuvre or stop quickly. It’ll be embarrassing and very dangerous if your tree flies off before you get home.
If you’re carrying your festive fir inside your car, ensure that your vision is unimpeded and that it’s not obstructing you. If it is, you won’t be able to drive safely, which could endanger your family or other road users.
It’s easy to get carried away with a Christmas tree, and you might come away with a larger one than you expected. If it’s longer than your car, you’ll need to put reflective material on the overhang to warn motorists around you.
It's a tough time to drive, with conditions varying wildly from low sun, rain, fog and snow. Make sure you and your car are prepared with our handy winter driving tips.
We borrowed the keys to the MS-RT Ranger to see what it's like to live with on a day-to-day basis! Here are our first impressions of this beefy pickup truck.