An interstate rest stop, otherwise known as a motorway service area, is a public facility located beside a large thoroughfare such as a highway, motorway, or expressway where drivers and passengers can stop to grab a bite, use the restroom, or take a much-needed nap.
Apart from these, interstate rest stops offer quick access from the mainline and provide basic amenities such as telephones, running water, wireless internet access, and ample parking spots.
Below, we discuss the importance of interstate rest stops and explain how they benefit drivers on interstate travel to different states.
Importance of Interstate Rest Stops
Rest stops improve safety, reduce excess driving, and improve driver and passenger comfort. Here is how:
Stopping after driving for hours improves safety for you, your passengers, and other drivers. If you have been behind the wheel for the better part of the day or night, you may start feeling tired, your attention may decrease, or you may experience slowed reflexes or responses.
Even worse, if you drive for long hours without stopping, you may fall asleep at the wheel, putting your life, the lives of your passengers, and the lives of other drivers at risk.
If you stop at a rest stop, you can take a nap or sleep in your car overnight if you are too tired to continue driving. This way, you wake up feeling rested and will be more alert when you get back on the road.
According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), 3,000 people die in crashes caused by distracted driving each year. Distracted driving involves activities such as:
- Eating while driving
- Sending a text message
- Using a navigation system
- Talking on your mobile phone
- Reaching for something on the backseat
You can reduce these distractions by stopping at a rest area where you can eat, send messages, make phone calls, or grab certain items from your car. Do not drive while distracted. Stop at a rest stop where you can attend to everything that requires your full attention.
Weather conditions can change in the blink of an eye, making driving more difficult. Some weather conditions that make driving unsafe include heavy rain, heavy snowfall, ice cover on the road, and hail.
Interstate rest areas are a safe place to park your vehicle and wait for the harsh weather to die down. If the harsh weather continues throughout the day or night, you can wait it out in the rest area lobby or sleep in your vehicle.
Access To Standard Amenities
Rest areas include different types of facilities, such as:
- Gas stations
- Picnic areas
- Wi-Fi hotspots
- Travel brochures
- Vending machines
- Information centers
- Convenience stores
- Magazines and newspapers
With access to such amenities, you can travel without worrying about where you will fuel your car, grab a bite, use the internet, or stop to make phone calls. Let’s be honest; traveling becomes more stress-free when you know there are rest stops on the interstate.
Provide a Place To Sleep
Most interstate rest stops in the U.S. are open twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.
You can sleep in your car in a rest area as long as it takes to get rested, even if this means parking overnight. The rest area staff cannot force a tired driver to get back on the road. They will let you stay as long as you can prove that you are too tired to get behind the wheel.
Do not force yourself to drive to your destination despite feeling tired. Park your vehicle and get the sleep you deserve.
Interstate rest stops perform an important role in the interstate network. As you can see, they improve safety, reduce distractions, and provide safety. They also improve driver and passenger discomfort, grant travelers access to standard amenities, and provide a place to sleep.
Improve Driver and Passenger Discomfort
When traveling by car, you and your passengers are subjected to vibrations related to the characteristics of the road surface, which are transmitted to your buttocks and back.
In addition, if you are driving, the steering wheel and pedal transmit additional vibrations to your hands and feet.
These vibrations, combined with your and your passengers’ seated postures, produce discomfort, especially during long journeys. If you feel uncomfortable while driving, it is best to stop at a rest stop.
While at a rest stop, you can perform body stretching exercises, walk up and down the scenic roads to improve blood circulation in your legs and change your posture by raising your feet or lying down in the rest stop lobby.
Rest Stops Benefit Drivers on Interstate Travel
If you are even on an interstate journey to a different state, make sure to stop at an interstate rest area to recharge. This will not only help you rest and recharge but make sure to keep you safe during your ongoing travel. Safe travels!