Tips for Safely Driving a Rented Oversized Vehicle – Guest Post

Safely Driving a Rented Oversized Vehicle

The open road. The taste of adventure. The massive vehicle to get you there.

For many people hitting the open road this year on a cross-country travel adventure, chances are the trip is happening in a rented oversized vehicle. Whether it is because of a move to a new city or state or because people are off on some whirlwind adventure, oversized vehicles can be a real benefit. The vehicles offer the ability to carry more in one trip or to make the road feel a bit more like home.

Although there are plenty of benefits to renting an oversized vehicle, there are a fair number of differences as well. The most significant of these is certainly that oversized vehicles are just that: oversized. Driving one is a lot different than driving a passenger car, which means the way it handles on the road may be something most drivers aren’t used to.

In order to avoid issues with your oversized rental, here are some things to take into consideration before setting out on your journey.

Be aware of the differences and account for them

There is no mistaking that the feel of an oversized vehicle is going to be a lot different than your zippy little passenger car. Rather, this vehicle is most likely going to feel bulkier and less maneuverable in tight situations. Here are some additional things to be aware of if this is your first time driving an oversized vehicle.

You don’t stop as fast. All of that extra weight can really add up in momentum, which means it takes longer to slow down. Apply brakes earlier than you normally would, especially if you are going down a big hill. This also means you should give more space between yourself and other vehicles so that you have additional time to stop should you need it.

You have big blind spots. Take extra precautions when turning, changing lanes, or passing to make sure that you are seeing everything that might be out there.

You are considered an obstacle. One thing you’ll quickly notice as you begin driving your oversized rental is that everyone wants to pass you. This means that other drivers are more likely to take risks or aggressively get around you and merge into your lane directly in front of you. Drive defensively and be prepared to brake.

You’re not very maneuverable. This means that you’re going to have a lot harder time parking or not sideswiping another vehicle when turning. Take a wider path when making turns to avoid this and be more willing to park outside of congested areas where you have more room to move.

Pay attention to road signs. It might seem like an obvious one, but there are still differences in larger vehicles. For instance, the height limits when going under overpasses will probably matter a lot more now that you’re in a taller vehicle. Likewise, your momentum might carry you more on tighter corners where signs suggest going below the speed limit.

Prepare mentally and physically

Sure, you should always be prepared mentally and physically before getting into any vehicle, but this is extra worth mentioning in an oversized rental. For one, you probably rented this vehicle because you’re planning on spending a lot more time in the car than you typically do. Whether you are moving or going on a road trip, more time in the car is hard on the body. Take time to stretch, make sure you schedule breaks, and pay attention to your energy levels.

If you are moving, you also might feel a particular amount of stress. The whole process can put a lot of strain on relationships, which is not necessarily something you want to be dwelling on when driving a large, unfamiliar vehicle. One tip is to talk ahead of time about who will be driving the oversized truck and what the expectations are. Will your partner be riding as a co-pilot or driving separately? Will there be planned stops or a method of communicating when stops are needed if you’re not riding together?

If you’re traveling across the country, chances are you’re striving to take in all the experiences. If you’re in an oversized rental, be extra careful about consuming alcohol before driving. Because it is an unfamiliar vehicle, you might find it challenging to drive even if you’re not even buzzed. Aside from that, there are pretty hefty fines associated with driving under the influence in your rental vehicle.

What if there is an accident?

No matter how prepared you are to drive an oversized vehicle, there is still the potential for an accident to happen. Regardless of whether or not an accident is your fault, it is important to document the incident with plenty of pictures and gather information from all the other drivers involved. For rental vehicles, liability may be determined by the cause of the accident. For instance, if your negligence caused the accident you might be liable but if the rental company didn’t complete appropriate maintenance on the vehicle they could be footing the bill.

Renting an oversized vehicle for any reason can be as daunting as it is fun. Be sure to prepare by recognizing the difference between the oversized rig and your daily commuter car, be physically and mentally ready, and take steps to avoid accidents.

Comments are closed for this post.