Keeping the ‘Jolly’ in Your Holiday

Tips for a Happy and Safe Road Trip in your California Car Rental

The holiday season is in full-swing once again, and now through the New Year celebration is the perfect time to pick up a California car rental and cruise the scenic highways and byways of this great state. Not only is there an enormously diverse range of attractions, vistas and terrains to explore, this time of year also provides a choice of climates from the north to the south. Thrill-seek on the powdery slopes of Lake Tahoe’s many world-class ski resorts. Find serenity from the holiday hustle in the ocean breezes of the Monterey coast. Pack up the kids in a California car rental with unlimited mileage and go spend a few days in the warmth of a family gathering during this festive time. Nothing brightens the spirit more than the thought of the holidays spent in the Golden State.

Take Your Time and Leave the Stress at Home

With all the exciting options, what could be less stressful than taking some time off for a California road trip? As idyllic as all of this may sound, this time of year accounts for some of the highest rates of vehicular incidents in the state.

The most recent information published by the California Highway Patrol shows that there were over 38,000 vehicle collisions causing injury during the November 2009 to January 2010 Thanksgiving-New Year holiday period. While this represents a significant downward trend compared to previous years, rushing to the destination and exceeding the speed limit was the most common cause of accidents. Always leave more time than you think you will need to get to where you’re going. Fortunately, Super Cheap Car Rental’s liability and collision insurance is included in the quoted price of your California car rental, and will help to keep you covered and stress-free.

Know the Path, Follow the Path

With a much larger number of out-of-state California car rental customers on the roads during the holidays, simply being unfamiliar with an area or route can snarl traffic, cause unneeded stress due to detours or delays, and also be a cause of collisions particularly in the Highway 1—a.k.a. the Pacific Coast Highway or SR 1 areas. The Big Sur region, south of San Jose is especially prone to delays at this time of year because of the increased traffic on the single-lane highway. Rock slides are not uncommon here and can cause complete road closures. In addition to using a GPS device or a good quality mobile map app on your smartphone, it’s a good idea to know the road conditions for your route before you head out.

Anger and Aggression Have No Place on the Open Road

Even at this time of peace and goodwill, it’s an unfortunate reality of the busy travel season that other drivers may be tempted to take their stress out on you, or vice versa. Being conscientious while behind the wheel and avoiding confrontation with other drivers is the best way to stay safe in your California car rental. Paying extra attention to your “driving etiquette” will help you keep a distance from even the grumpiest drivers, such as keeping to the right whenever possible and avoiding slow driving in the left or passing lane. Other ways to make sure that you avoid the consequences of holiday “road rage” include:

  • Trying to maintain at least two car lengths between you and the car in front of you
  • Using your horn only when absolutely necessary
  • Avoiding flashing your headlights at other vehicles to get their attention
  • Staying out of the way of aggressive drivers and “lane hoppers”
  • Resisting making or returning rude gestures out of your car window
  • Avoiding eye contact with an angry driver, or getting out of the car when threatened

Make Sure the Gifts Get in the Right Hands

Not only will your California car rental be packed with kids, friends and luggage, ’tis the season when it’s likely to be packed with gifts, too. Criminals know this, and will take any opportunity to spot an easy victim. Don’t be a mark for the bad guys by taking these simple precautions:

  • Keep windows up and doors locked while driving, especially in urban areas.
  • Even though you might want to be a Good Samaritan, do not pick up a hitchhiker for any reason.
  • Always keep gifts and other valuables out of sight, ideally in the trunk of your California car rental.
  • Make any necessary stops in well-lit, populated areas whenever possible.

 Still Stressing Out? Talk to Us!

Enjoying your California car rental does not have to be stressful, and who wants stress at this time of year? With the end of the holiday season approaching, the only thing you really have to worry about is making sure that you reserve the car you need before they’re gone!