If you are going on a long trip requiring several rest stops, you must select your designated rest areas ahead of time. Many apps can show you where rest stops are on your route, but not all of them have the necessary information on the rest stops. If you select the rest area, you might end up being a victim of a crime.
Rest areas provide space to take a break after driving for long hours. However, if you select the wrong rest area, you will have a bad experience. If you are looking for your next rest area, here is how you choose one.
Before you begin your journey, plan your route and check for the safest rest areas on that route. Do not enter the next rest area on your route without having enough information about it. If there are no safe rest areas on your route, plan your stops in cities or towns you will drive through.
Select Well-Lit Areas
Criminals prefer staying in poorly lit areas where no one can identify them. When choosing your next rest area, ensure the place is well-lit. If the rest area has some dark spots, avoid going there.
Take Note of Your Surroundings
When selecting your next rest area, remain alert at all times and ensure you take note of all landmarks near the area. You should also stay alert when moving around the rest area. Knowing your surroundings will come in handy when you need emergency services and you have to describe your location to the dispatcher.
History of the Rest Area
Before you select your next rest area, you need to know its complete history. Some rest areas are havens for criminals, and using them can expose you and your passengers to unknown dangers. You should choose rest areas that are safe for the public and have zero or minor crime reports.
Cell Network Coverage
Cell phone network coverage is very important during long trips in case you need to make a call, send a text, or access the internet. You shouldn’t use your phone while driving; hence you need your next rest area to have network coverage. If the rest area does not have network coverage, you will have to drive to the next rest area before you can use your phone again.
Due to increased crime in rest areas, you need to be careful when selecting your next rest area. You also need to take precautions when using a rest area, such as parking in a well-lit area, locking your car, and avoiding spending too much time or sleeping in your car.
If you feel the rest area you are using is not safe, you should continue with your journey as you look for another rest area.
Thomas Bouve has had an intensive IT career in innovative transportation projects and now works at Rest Stops Ahead. During a 4-year tour of duty in the Navy, LCDR Bouve received critical computer training which he directly applied to various logistics programs. After his military service, Tom was appointed Chief, Research and Analysis Division within the U.S. Department of Transportation.