How Can I Safely Navigate Thanksgiving Rental Car Use to Avoid Accidents and Address Common Issues? 

by Staff Blogger | November 21st, 2023

Over the Thanksgiving holiday, many people travel to see their loved ones.  With all the extra congestion on the roads, it’s important to be extra cautious to prevent accidents. In the event of an accident, be sure to consult with an injury lawyer in Sacramento. An experienced attorney can provide valuable assistance and help navigating the legal process.

Preparing for the Rental Car Experience

Having all the information you need for a pleasant rental car experience is important as it will help you understand your rights and obligations as a renter. Staying informed can also help you avoid unforeseen costs.

Check the rental vehicle carefully for any defects or damages before you leave. Capture photos/videos of the vehicle’s condition as evidence in case of later disputes. Remember to check the car’s horn, lights, and wipers to ensure they work properly.

Safe Driving Practices

Safe driving practices are crucial to avoiding accidents and ensuring safe travel. The following safe driving practices can be especially helpful:

  • Keep a secure following distance.
  • Buckle up and reduce speed.
  • Take breaks.
  • Follow all traffic laws.
  • Do not drink and drive.

Navigating Traffic

Thanksgiving traffic can often be very chaotic, but you can maneuver it successfully and safely if you plan and take the proper precautions. To get through traffic, consider these suggestions:

Prepare Your Vehicle

Your car should be in top condition and thoroughly inspected before undertaking a long journey. Check the fluid levels, including windshield washer fluid, oil, automatic transmission fluid, and brake fluid.  Stop at a gas station on your way out to ensure you have a full tank. Use this opportunity to check your tire pressure levels as well.

Select Different Driving Days

The days leading up to, and just after, Thanksgiving are among the busiest driving days of the year. This is particularly true on the Wednesday before and Sunday after the holiday. Save yourself from dealing with congestion on the roads by leaving on Monday or Tuesday and returning either a day early on Saturday or a day late on Monday. By then, traffic will have more or less returned to normal.

Locate an Alternate Route

Your usual route may be much more congested than expected, especially if you drive during peak Thanksgiving travel times. Have a backup route in case the traffic becomes overwhelming.


Technology will save you a lot of hassle, whether by using a GPS device, built-in satellite navigation in your car, or Google Maps on your phone. Traffic jams, roadblocks, mistaken turns, and other unexpected detours can add significant time to your journey, especially if you can’t adjust your route quickly.

Pay Attention to the Weather

Late November is a challenging time to drive in many parts of the country. It falls between the transitional seasons of autumn and winter, making weather conditions more hazardous. Prepare for rain, snow, sleet, hail, ice patches, puddles, and many other road hazards.

Monitor the weather forecast for your trip a few hours before and after. Staying educated will allow you to make better judgments and more confidently handle these difficult conditions.  Remember to check the weather prediction for each destination you choose to visit. Stay abreast of current weather conditions by utilizing a service such as Morecast  that allows you to check conditions along your travel route and/or listening to the local weather channel on the radio occasionally while driving.

Parking and Security

Finding parking and security concerns can exacerbate the stress of travelling during Thanksgiving., Lock your rental car when not in use, and avoid leaving valuables in plain sight. Allow additional time for security checkpoints and plan ahead for parking. Check availability and book online at the best rates with the airport app or real-time parking map. Remember to emphasize safety and security when traveling for Thanksgiving.

What Should You Do if You Get into an Accident With a Rental Car During Thanksgiving?

An accident is the last thing you want to experience in a rented car on Thanksgiving. However, it is critical to be prepared if the unexpected occurs by seeking legal advice from a Sacramento accident lawyer. Here’s what you should do if you ever find yourself in such a situation:

Examine the Situation

Check to see if anyone is hurt, make sure everyone is safe, and dial 911 right away if someone is injured. Move to a safe area and notify the authorities as soon as it is safe to do so.

Assemble Proof and Information

Contact and insurance information should be exchanged with any other drivers involved in the accident.  Obtain a copy of the accident report, the responding police officer’s name, badge number, contact information, and the accident case number. To document the accident scene and damage, take photos.

Report to Your Rental Company

Call the rental company to inform them that you’ve been involved in an accident and find out what they expect you to do with the car—whether that means taking it somewhere or having it towed. Remember to note the customer service representative’s name, phone number, time, and date.

Consult an Injury Lawyer

Confer with a lawyer if you need assistance with any legal matters. By hiring an experienced accident attorney, Sacramento residents are guaranteed assistance with understanding their options and navigating the legal system.

Have you or anyone you know been involved in a rental car accident this Thanksgiving and are you considering filing a lawsuit? Contact us and get a comprehensive guide tailored to your situation.