3 On Your Side

Alert: Getting your Christmas tree home safely

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(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

AAA recently published a report with some surprising numbers. The motor club says 500 people were killed over the last four years due to hitting road debris and Christmas trees are considered road debris.

"This is the one I think we're getting girls."

For Daniel Yanez and many Valley families, it's a very special time of year.

"We're just looking for some Christmas trees."

And, picking out the right Christmas tree can be a memorable family tradition.

"Does it smell good? I only want a tree that smells good."

"Does that look a little bit fuller too? That one was nice."

As 3 On Your Side found out, selecting the perfect Christmas tree is easy. Getting it home without problems though can be tricky.

Take a quick peek through the internet and you'll see all kinds of Christmas tree disasters.

For example, there was this motorcyclist who escaped serious injury after barely missing a Christmas tree that had fallen off another vehicle.

And then, there are people like this. The tree is so big, it completely blocks the windshield and windows prompting police to pull the driver over.

So how do you get your tree home without problems. For that, we talked to Garrett Mosley who works at Talmachoff Farms in Glendale.

"The trunk goes on the front part of the car and we'll wrap the twine around that, and then we'll tie that part down, we'll tie one part down in the middle and then we'll tie the very end down."

If you have a pickup truck, transporting your tree is a lot easier. But you should still tie it down.

Why? Just ask AAA’s Michelle Donati.

"Within the last three years, 20 million who have bought and taken home Christmas trees, and not have them properly secured to their vehicle. That means those trees could become debris, they could fall off, pose a hazard for other drivers."

Donati is referring to an eye-opening report by the motor club that highlights the dangers of road debris including Christmas trees that have fallen off vehicles or have blown out of a pickup.

"Over the past four years road debris has caused over 200,000 crashes resulting in nearly 39,000 injuries and over 500 deaths."

Just remember, you can be cited if your tree finds itself in the middle of the road. But even worse Donati says, an improperly secured tree could cause a fatality.

"The bottom line is whether you're taking a tree home or you're taking a tree elsewhere after the holidays, make sure that it's secured to your vehicle to prevent that tree from becoming a road hazard for others." 

Even if you get your tree home you still might have caused damage to your car by not securing it properly. Scratched paint and torn door seals can be avoided if you take your time and do things right.

Click on AAA for additional information about the report.

Click/tap here to download the free azfamily mobile app.

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

Gary HarperGary Harper is the senior consumer and investigative reporter for 3 On Your Side at KTVK-TV.

Click to learn more about Gary.

Gary Harper
3 On Your Side

With more than 20 years of television experience, Gary has established himself as a leader in the industry when it comes to assisting viewers and resolving their consumer-related issues. His passion and enthusiasm have helped him earn an Emmy for Best Consumer Reporter from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. He’s also garnered several Emmy nominations

He has negotiated resolutions with companies of all sizes, including some of the biggest corporations in the nation.

Gary has successfully recouped more than $1 million for viewers around the state, making 3 On Your Side one of the most popular segments on KTVK and the station's Web site.

He's best known for investigating and confronting unscrupulous contractors. In fact, many of his news reports have led to police investigations and jail time for those who were caught. Viewers, as well as the companies and people he investigates, regard him as consistently being thorough and fair.

Gary has been with KTVK-TV since 1997. Prior to his arrival in Phoenix, he worked for WZZM-TV in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he was as an anchor and reporter.

Gary is from Chicago, but launched his television career in Lubbock, Texas, after earning a broadcast journalism degree from Texas Tech University. Following his graduation, he was quickly hired by KLBK-TV in Lubbock, where he enterprised and broke numerous exclusive reports. His aggressive reporting in Texas helped garner him Best Reporter by the Associated Press.

Gary has been married since 1994 and is the proud father of two sons. When he's not helping viewers, Gary is busy catching up on his favorite college and professional football teams as well as cheering on his beloved Texas Tech Red Raiders.

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