Rental car customers in Springfield, Missouri - and nationwide - rarely consider the safety ratings or safety features of the cars they are renting--they merely assume the vehicles must be safe. Our Springfield personal injury attorneys wanted to bring you up to date on just how safe rental cars currently are, what you should look for when renting, and what you should do if you are injured in an accident in a rental car.
In a recent study by USA Today comparing 213 of the most popular rental car models, 95% performed well in front end crash tests. Since head-on collisions are the number one form of fatal auto accidents, this is good news indeed.
However, only 77% of the same models had good protection in side impact collisions, which is cause for concern: occupants of vehicles with good side impact safety ratings are 70% more likely to survive a serious car crash. The percentages get even worse when roof strength is considered (important in a rollover accident), with almost 40% of vehicles testing poorly.
Although many Springfield residents consider a vehicle's safety ratings before they choose to buy, they often don't follow the same practice when choosing a rental car. Remember, the maintenance and upkeep of rental cars is vital to the safety of the vehicle.
What to Look For When Renting A Car in Springfield, Nixa, or Ozark:
• Check the tires. Are they worn? Are they properly inflated?
• Make sure all lights (including four way flashers, turn signals, and horns are in good working order.
• Ask the rental company when the fluids were last checked.
• Check the wiper blades: if they are worn, ask the rental company to change the blades, or to switch you to a different vehicle.
• Ask about the vehicle's safety features (such as airbags).
The Study's Top Rental Vehicle Safety Picks:
• Small cars: The four-door Honda Civic; Mitsubishi Lancer; Subaru Impreza
• Midsize cars: Ford Fusion; Chrysler 200; Volkswagen Jetta
• Large cars: Ford Taurus; Toyota Avalon; Buick Regal
• SUVs: Hyundai Tucson; Kia Sorento; Cadillac SRX
Although rental car companies say customer safety is foremost, the fact is they are less likely to order fleet vehicles with the latest safety technologies. What's more, renters are less familiar with the vehicle, and frequently driving in an area they don't know at all. For all these reasons, our Springfield car crash lawyers urge every possible caution when driving in a rental car.
What to Do After a Rental Car Accident
If you are in a rental car accident, it can be a very complicated legal situation. You might be in another state, or even in another country. You might have purchased the rental company's offered insurance, or be relying on your own insurance company. For all these reasons, it is wise to consult with an experienced attorney as soon as possible following the accident. This step is even more necessary if you or any other occupant of either car has been injured.
If we can assist you with a car accident injury claim, contact our office toll-free at 1-888-777-AUTO to schedule a free initial consultation.