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As November gives way to December, a number of people are making their Christmas arrangements and for many that means purchasing a live Christmas tree.

While this is an annual tradition for countless people, AAA says it can be dangerous as the organization estimates approximately 20 million Americans who purchased a real Christmas tree in the last three years did not properly secure it to their vehicle. This sounds like a minor issue but the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety notes that road debris - such as a Christmas tree that flies off a car - was responsible for more than 200,000 crashes in the past four years. These accidents resulted in 39,000 injuries and 500 deaths.

Even people who secure their Christmas tree to the roof of their vehicle could be doing it wrong as AAA's director of Automotive Engineering and Industry Relation, Greg Brannon, says �Twine that is wrapped around trees and looped through door jambs or open windows can cause serious damage to door seals and window frames." While the damage can vary widely, the organization says improperly secured Christmas trees can cause owners up to $1,500.

In order to properly secure a Christmas tree, AAA says drivers should only transport trees in vehicles with a roof rack or in trucks and SUVs that have enough room to accommodate the tree. The organization also recommends people use nylon ratchet straps to secure the tree in place and put an old blanket underneath the tree to prevent paint scratches.

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