The highway is no place to find a Christmas tree

By Caroline Carpenter / ADOT Communications

It's beginning to look a lot like ... the time of year people head out to cut down their own Christmas tree.

Okay, okay, we know that's not how the classic Christmas song goes, but we will still argue many will be searching for a Christmas tree in the coming weeks. Some will be traveling to our national forests where permits are available to cut down their own Tannebaum, while others will drive to the nearest tree lot or big box store to find their tree.

No matter which option your family chooses, please make sure your holiday cheer isn't dimmed by losing your tree before it makes it home. You can see that's what happened to one unfortunate family in this tweet from a few years ago. Each year, both before and after the holiday, it's not uncommon to see a Christmas tree in the middle of the road. Please secure your load so your tree doesn't cause a crash. Your gift for doing so will be delivering a new tree to your family, ready to decorate!

And if you are heading up north, whether to find your perfect tree or just going to enjoy cooler temperatures, there are a few other winter safety tips to keep in mind. Before you leave, make sure you pack a winter safety kit. Unexpected storms, crashes or car trouble may cause you to spend an extended time in your vehicle. You'll be glad you packed those extra blankets and snacks if you ever find yourself in that situation. Visit azdot.gov/KnowSnow for more winter travel tips.