Protecting your gifts and yourself as you travel - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Protecting your gifts and yourself as you travel

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December 21, 2005

Albany--Many of you will travel this week with a car full of gifts to deliver to loved ones. There are some things you need to do to make sure you and your gifts arrive to your destination in one piece.

From covers to cargo boxes, there are things you can do to protect your valuables in your vehicle. "They're buying a lot of straps, a lot of safety harnesses, a lot of cargo netting," says NAPA manager, John Wilder.

Business is busy at this NAPA Auto parts store. Manager John Wilder says there's a reason for that. [

"Just for safety to make sure you don't get hit in the back of the head," says Wilder.

"You don't want any the packages to become projectiles that could cause harm to anybody," says Ltd. Tracey Barnes, with the Albany Police Department.

While protecting yourself is key, protecting your cargo is also important.

"Tuck a blanket around them, and wrap it with something whether it be some nice sturdy tape, or rope," says Barnes.

As you do your holiday travel, another way to keep your items safe is by using a security net.

"They've been selling like crazy," says Wilder.

And they're perfect for keeping your items in place. "If you're not using it you can store it a little easier," says Wilder.

This ratchet and strap is also popular. "Basically, you want to make sure you secure your load, across this way, as well as this way to keep it from shifting forward," says Wilder.

But make sure you limit your load. "You don't want to stack them up so high that they're actually going to be flying around," says Barnes.

And don't leave gifts where they can block your vision. "Remember you need to be able see out of both side mirrors, you need to see out the back mirror," says Barnes.

Also, keep presents and other items away from view. "You want to put all your attention on your driving, and not looking over at the presents," says Barnes.

While it's important to make sure your gifts arrive in one piece, it's more important that you get there unharmed. AAA estimates nearly two million Georgians will travel between Christmas and New Year's. 1.5 million of them will travel by automobile.

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