Traveling in a new city can create anxiety because of unfamiliarity with the locale. The following tips, obtained from the American Automobile Association and the American Car Rental Association, are meant as guidelines.
- Before leaving the rental center, be sure you know the route to your destination. The Thrifty counter staff will provide maps and/or directions. If you must ask directions, ask a police officer or find a well-lighted public place. Stay out of high crime areas even if it means going out of your way.
- Do not stop on the roadway or shoulder and do not get out of your car, if any of the following situations occur:
- Your vehicle is bumped from behind
- Another motorist advises you of problems with your vehicle
- Your car is malfunctioning
- Someone on the roadside needs assistance
If any of these situations occur, drive to the nearest well-lighted public place to notify the proper authorities and to request assistance. In most areas, dial 911 for the police. Do not stop for flashing white lights. Lights on emergency vehicles in the U.S. are red and blue. If you are threatened with a gun or knife, give up your car immediately and report the incident to police and the rental car company. Keep doors and windows locked and keep your valuables locked in the trunk or glove compartment. Do not carry large amounts of cash. Do not pick up hitchhikers. Always park in well-lighted areas. If stopping to buy gas, use a pay phone or use an automatic teller machine (ATM), choose well-lighted, busy locations. If possible, avoid using an ATM at night. Never leave your car unattended with the engine running. When walking toward a parked car, be aware of your surroundings and check the interior of the vehicle before unlocking doors. Have your keys in hand and ready when approaching your vehicle. Don’t be your own worst enemy... buckle up!