It is very important to take breaks when driving for a long time, since fatigue on the roads can be deadly. Rest areas are good places to stretch your legs and use the facilities. But they aren't always the safest places to be. See what you know about choosing a safe rest stop by taking this quiz.
The Interstate Highway System was created in the late 1950s.
The first rest stop area policy was written in 1958. Rest stops were described as safety measures that provide a place for motorists to rest or to stop in the case of an emergency.
These days rest areas are known to be unsafe places where crimes like prostitution, theft, vandalism, drug dealing and others occur.
Remain alert and avoid people who are hanging around in the rest area, as they are probably up to no good.
Note the name of the stop in case you need to inform authorities of your location.
Park in open areas and avoid parking behind things that will block your view of the parking lot, such as behind a truck.
Look for a well illuminated rest area, since a well-lit area discourages crime.
Some rest areas have frequent police patrols or permanent security. You can ask them to keep an eye out for you while you are in the rest area.
It is most dangerous to be in a rest area at nighttime when it is dark, especially if you are alone.
Visiting a staffed facility, such as a gas station or fast-food outlet, might be a safer option than a rest area if you are travelling on your own at nighttime.
You can find out which rest stops employ security and other such details in the Interstate Travel Guide.
Make sure you lock your car when you leave it and don't linger in your car or you might become a target for criminals.
Have someone come with you to the restroom or have them wait outside.
Avoid sleeping in rest areas. In some states it is actually against the law to sleep in rest area due to the high crime rates there. It is safer to sleep in your car overnight in a campground or a state park for a small fee.
If you are feeling threatened you should drive away before anything can happen to you.