Take it With You: Rental Car Safety Checklist

Ring! The alarm clock goes off. You roll out of bed. Soon, you are off to the airport. You’re traveling for work. Or, maybe, you’re traveling with your family.

Ring a silent alarm in your head for safety before arriving at your destination and driving off in a rental car. You don’t want to be that guy or gal who is distracted for an instant while adjusting a mirror or setting the GPS in an unfamiliar vehicle. The risk of that distraction is in disrupting your day with the jarring sound of a crash. You lose time. Your employer loses money.

Multiply costs associated with those losses if someone is hurt or killed in that crash.

Because we want to help all drivers stay safe on the road and help you protect your employees, we have developed a credit card-sized free resource to raise awareness of rental car safety. You will want to put this in the hands of your employees who travel for work and pleasure: Texas Rental Card Checklist.

On the front of the double-sided card is an outline of what you need to learn about the vehicle you are driving before you leave the rental agency lot. On the back, there is a list of five things to check:

  • Are the mirrors and seats properly adjusted?
  • Are there any warning lights on?
  • Do you know how to program the GPS?
  • Is the gas tank full?
  • What safety features come standard in the vehicle?

Spending a few seconds getting to know your rental car vehicle before you drive off the lot can help keep you safe, not to mention others around you on the road. The three leading causes of crashes are distraction, speeding and driving under the influence of alcohol.

Many distracted driving incidents are the result of personal choices, including cell phone use while behind the wheel, handheld or hands-free. Research indicates distraction persists long after you finish using voice commands to make a call or send a text. Your mind is still on the conversation. Have you heard of inattention blindness?

Watch: Distraction is Confusion about What Matters Most – Safety.

Employers can proactively combat the costly toll of crashes by promoting safe driving behaviors, both on and off the job. We’re here to help. Put this new tool in your safety box.

– Lisa Robinson is a senior program manager with the National Safety Council