Rental car accidents can mar your vacation, can cost you a lot of money, and can be frightening. Rental car collisions in Miami and other Florida cities are all too common, unfortunately. Unlike collisions with your regular car, these crashes can result in disputes with the rental company and usually involve all the stress of being in a car crash in an unfamiliar city.
If you are visiting Florida and need to rent a car, keep in mind that you may be at risk for a rental car crash for a few reasons:
- You may be renting a car that is unfamiliar to you
- You are generally in an unfamiliar area, making collisions more likely
- You may be distracted by your vacation or the sites around you
- The car may have been driven by many people before you and may have mechanical issues
- Car rental lots can be located in remote areas, which can make driving out of them challenging
Letting someone else drive you around is one option. However, you can also make your rental car experience a little safer by following these tips:
1) Buy good car accident insurance with your rental.
Spending a little bit extra can help you if you are in a motor vehicle crash. Get as much coverage as you can and check with your credit card company to find out whether you are covered through that company as well. Make sure that you are covered for uninsured and underinsured drivers. You don’t want to be in the position where you are in an accident and some or all of your damages are not covered.
2) Check out the car before you drive off the lot.
A representative from the car rental company will generally walk around with a clipboard to check for damages before handing you the keys. Make sure that you walk around as well and point out any scratches or damages that may have been missed. Take photos, if possible. You don’t want to be responsible for any damages that aren’t your fault. Check the inside and outside of the car thoroughly. If there appear to be tire issues or if the car makes any strange noises that could indicate a mechanical problem, ask for another car. You don’t want to be in a car crash because the car was not maintained correctly.
3) Make sure you know where you’re going.
Use GPS and a map to orient yourself. Program the GPS before you start to drive, but have a map on hand in case you get lost. If you do get lost, pull over to check the map or ask for directions, rather than continuing to drive.
4) Adjust the car before you drive.
When you first get in the rental car and confirm that everything appears to be working correctly, take a few minutes to get used to the car. This will ensure that you aren’t distracted and hunting for windshield wipers or the radio when you should be paying attention to the road. You will also want to adjust the seat and mirrors to ensure that you enjoy the best visibility possible.
Of course, even if you are a cautious driver, you may find yourself in a car accident while visiting Florida. If this happens to you, contact Flaxman Law Group for fast and friendly legal advice. Your initial consultation with us is free and we will do all we can to get you on the road again.