Ready to hit the road in your car rental? Not so fast! Whether you’re headed across town or across the country, safety should always be your #1 concern. Driving an unfamiliar vehicle can open you up to a whole slew of unexpected hazards; however, many of them can be avoided if you follow some basic driving safety tips.
Here are 20 simple car rental safety tips to remember before hitting the road in your rental:
1) Buckle up!
Make sure that passengers are safely buckled in as well.
2) Keep your hands on the wheel.
If you’re behind the wheel of your car, it’s because you’re driving – this is not the time to apply make-up, phone a friend, or eat your lunch.
3) Keep your eyes on the road.
Car rental drivers need to be vigilant of objects in the roadway ahead. This includes debris, potholes, animals, and the unknown.
4) Abide by the speed limit.
Driving too fast decreases the amount of time you have to react to your surroundings.
5) Obey traffic signals and signs.
These are set-up for a reason: your safety.
6) Review local laws.
The rules of the road change depending where you’re traveling. Always review local laws before getting behind the wheel.
7) Use your indicators when turning or changing lanes.
This will alert pedestrians, cyclists, and other drivers to your intentions.
8) Don’t drive your car rental when drowsy.
Pull over and take breaks every couple of hours.
9) Don’t drink and drive.
While you may not become intoxicated from one alcoholic beverage, you can still feel drowsy.
10) Monitor traffic reports.
Accidents are more likely to occur during peak traffic periods. If possible try and avoid traveling in your car rental during these times.
11) Check the weather.
If the weather is nasty, drive accordingly. Rain, snow, and ice can cause driving conditions to deteriorate quickly. Slow down and drive with caution.
12) Familiarize yourself with your vehicle.
Locate important equipment (hazard lights, windshield wipers, etc) before embarking on your journey.
13) Always check your blind spot, especially when driving an unfamiliar car rental.
Never assume that this space is clear.
14) Adjust your mirrors.
Your rearview mirror and side mirrors are intended to help you monitor your vehicle’s surroundings with ease. Make sure that’s the case by adjusting them to compliment your unique needs.
15) Don’t follow too closely.
Space is your friend. Make sure to leave plenty between your car rental and the vehicle in front of you.
16) Watch out for other drivers.
While you can’t control the people around you, you can make sure you’re alert and aware of your surroundings. This will improve your reaction time.
17) Practice defensive driving.
Don’t be that jerk who cuts people off in traffic. Avoid aggressive driving behaviours like tailgating, initiating conflict, or using rude gestures.
18) Pack a safety kit.
Before you head out in your car rental, make sure you pick up some emergency roadside essentials. Flashlights, blankets and snacks are just a few items to consider.
19) Keep you gas tank topped up.
Finding a gas station in an unfamiliar city can be quite the challenge. Avoid sticky situations by filling up regularly.
20) Consider purchasing roadside assistance coverage.
Unfortunately, accidents do happen. Roadside assistance coverage will help ensure you’re never stranded.
Safe driving tips breed safe drivers. Share your tips for improved driving in the comments below.