10 Safety Tips for Driving a Rental Vehicle

September 18, 2018, 5:30

Renting a truck or van is often a great solution for moving, planning an adventure, or transporting a large group of people. Especially during the summertime when adventure calls, truck rental or van rental is often a convenient and easy way to achieve all of your goals.

But driving a vehicle that isn’t yours and that you’re not familiar with, especially if the vehicle is bigger than what you’re used to, has its risks, too. Here are 10 safety tips for driving a rental vehicle in Illinois or Indiana–

10 Tips for Safe Driving

Be sure to follow these 10 tips for improved safety when operating a rental vehicle:

  • Take time to familiarize yourself with the vehicle. The first thing that you should do is familiarize yourself with the vehicle. Do you know how to turn the blinkers or windshield wipers on? Which side is the gas cap located? How to adjust your mirrors?
  • Know that you need more room to stop. Larger vehicles need more room to stop, plain and simple. Driving a passenger van or moving truck will not be the same as driving your personal passenger car. Give yourself plenty of distance and start braking early.
  • Be aware of the need to make wider turns. If you’re driving a vehicle that’s larger than what you’re used to, you may need more room in order to make turns. Keep this in mind when turning, and give yourself plenty of room and time to go wider if need be.
  • Keep a safe distance. Remember, your vehicle may need more room to stop than what you’re used to. As such, keep a safe distance between your rental van or truck and any other vehicles around you. Never tailgate.
  • Slow down. Did you know that an increase in speed is associated with a greater risk of being involved in an accident and a greater risk that damages from that accident will be more severe? Especially when driving a vehicle you’re not familiar with, slow down.
  • Put away distractions. Distracted driving can be extremely dangerous. While you may be tempted to change the music, use your phone, etc., resist the temptation to do so. Ask your front seat passenger to help you navigate and handle anything else you need.
  • Have a spotter for backing up. One of the most intimidating things about driving a large vehicle is backing up. If you’re not comfortable reversing, ask for someone to spot you. This can avoid a collision. Remember to always look behind you for any objects or people that you may be unable to see from the driver’s seat.
  • Practice safe towing. You may be renting a vehicle for the purpose of towing another vehicle, RV, ATV, boat, etc. If you are, make sure you familiarize yourself with safe towing practices, including safe turning and lane-changing.
  • Buckle up. You should always buckle up, regardless of the vehicle you’re in. Don’t assume that because you’re in a larger vehicle, you’ll be protected in the event of a collision. Make sure everyone in your vehicle wears their seatbelt, too.
  • Remember you have larger blind spots. Finally, while all vehicles have blind spots, remember that the larger the vehicle, the larger the blind spot. Be cognizant of this and exercise extra caution when lane-changing.

Reserve Your Truck or Van Rental Today!

If you need a vehicle, our team at Marcus/Allard Truck Rental can help. We have the rental trucks and rental vans you’re looking for. Reserve your truck or van today by sending us a message, or calling us directly.