You've got your keys, contract, map and other paperwork in hand, and you walk confidently out to the rental car parking lot to find your vehicle and hit the road. As a driver with many years of experience behind you, and more than a few challenges successfully navigated to date (long trips with toddlers, car pools with backseat drivers, winter roads covered with snow), you have little fear of the unknown. But this particular rental vehicle, possibly a hybrid car, is completely alien.
What features that should be obvious are not and other gadgets are a complete mystery, such as the electronic parking aids that warns you if you're in danger of scraping the curb or hitting a barrier.
Solution: Don't leave the lot until you've thoroughly familiarized yourself with the workings of your car, especially its safety features: brakes, mirrors, turn signals, car horn, seatbelts, wipers, de-foggers, car locks, windows, trunk lock, etc. Check the glovebox for the car manual and look up any unfamiliar features. If you're confused, ask for assistance at the rental office before you leave.