Each year, drivers sustain serious head injuries, broken bones, brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and other serious injuries while driving rental trucks. Investigative reports and investigations into rental truck companies have found that some rental companies are not as careful as they should be concerning safety. If you need to rent a truck, here are some steps you should take if you are not sure of a truck’s safety:
1) Test before you drive. Before you drive off the rental car lot, do a walk-around inspection with the rental agent and then ask the rental agent to drive around the lot with you. This gives you a chance to notice any problems with the truck and allows you to ask any questions you need to ask before you drive the vehicle. If you notice any problems with the truck, seek another truck or rental company. Once you drive off the lot, visit a mechanic you trust to look at the truck, just to ensure it is road-worthy.
2) Ask for verification of the truck’s safety. Ask the rental agency for proof of the truck’s last maintenance and inspection. The rental agency should be able to tell you exactly when the last maintenance was done on the truck and what that maintenance involved.
3) If you notice something unusual, call the rental truck company right away. If you notice the truck behaving unusually while on the road, call your rental company right away to report the problem and ask for assistance. Most rental companies have road side assistance.
4) Visit a mechanic. If you notice anything unusual about the way the truck handles, pull into a mechanic’s shop right away. This ensures that you have proof of mechanical problems in case there is a dispute with the rental company. Evidence of mechanical problems also usually pressures the rental company into offering you assistance right away.
5) Refuse to drive further. If there is a problem with the truck or you suspect that the truck is not safe, refuse to drive any further with the vehicle. If you suspect that something may be amiss and you continue to drive, you may be held partly liable for any accident that results.
6) Do not drive a truck that is unsafe for you. Sometimes, a truck is not mechanically unsafe but it is still dangerous to drive if you are unfit to drive the vehicle. If you are not qualified to drive a truck or do not feel that you can safely operate the vehicle, do not drive the truck. Even if it is mechanically sound, you might cause an accident.