Will you be driving a rental car for a time while your own car is being repaired after a serious crash or while you’re shopping for a new one because yours was totaled? Maybe this doesn’t apply to you, but you’re going to be renting a car during your upcoming summer vacation. An unfamiliar vehicle coupled with an unfamiliar area can be particularly daunting.
Whatever the scenario, getting behind the wheel of a rental car, especially if you’ve recently been involved in a crash, can be stressful. Most rental cars are newer models, so it’s likely to have more “bells and whistles” than you’re used to having. Further, any vehicle that’s a different make, model and/or size than you’re used to can throw you off. Here are a few tips that can help you stay safe in your rental vehicle.
Find out where everything is and make sure it works
Spend some time with someone at the rental car agency or review the manual to determine you know how to put on the turn signals, windshield wipers, emergency brake, lights, emergency blinkers and defroster and where the horn is. You also want to be sure these things are working.
Adjust everything for your size
Make sure the driver’s seat, mirrors and steering wheel are in the right position for your height and size. If you’ve got passengers, make sure their seats are adjusted properly before you begin driving so you don’t have to deal with unnecessary distractions of people moving their seats back and forth.
If you’re going to be using the entertainment and GPS systems, make sure you adjust the settings before you drive. The same goes for the temperature controls. The less fussing with knobs and buttons that you need to do while you’re driving, the safer you’ll be.
If you were involved in a collision caused by another driver, remember that part of your claim for compensation should include the cost of a rental car if you need one while yours is being repaired. With experienced legal guidance, you can feel confident that you’re seeking compensation for all of your economic and non-economic damages.