If your car is still being repaired after a crash or you’re waiting to find out if it’s considered totaled so you can get a new one, you’ll likely be driving a rental car once you’re healed enough to get behind the wheel again. It can be frightening enough to drive again after a crash, but driving an unfamiliar car can be even more daunting.
If you can rent a car that’s similar to your own, that can make things easier. However, you’ll probably get one that’s a newer model. That means it will have more safety features, but also more entertainment and communication features that can distract you from your driving if you let them.
Getting familiar with the car before you drive it is crucial to staying safe.
Before you leave the rental car location
Ask an employee to help you find your way around the car so you know where everything is. Before you start out, make sure you know how to work the turn signals, horn, lights and windshield wipers and that they’re all working properly.
Also ask them to help you set the seat, steering wheel and mirrors so that they’re right for you. You don’t want to be fumbling around trying to figure these things out while you’re on the road. If there’s no one available to help you, spend a little time with the car manual before you set off.
As soon as possible
If there are safety features that are new to you, learn what the various alarms or flashing lights mean. Don’t turn off these functions just because you may find them annoying. They can save you from another crash.
There’s nothing wrong with using the on-board entertainment features. Just know how they work and set them before you start any trip. It’s also best to set the GPS before you head out.
Insurance should cover your rental
If your crash was caused by another driver, be sure that their insurance company covers the cost of your rental car until your car is fixed or you get a new one. Of course, that’s in addition to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages and other expenses and damages. Don’t accept a settlement that’s less than you need. It may be wise to have legal guidance to protect your right to a fair settlement.