Use Caution – Highway Travel Tips to Keep You Safe and Help You Avoid the Most Dangerous Rest Stops
Summer is upon us, and many of us will be hitting the road for that long-anticipated vacation trip. As we travel down the highways of Illinois and surrounding states, we’ll encounter many a rest stop. In fact, there are currently slightly over 1,800 highway rest stops in the United States.
Are Rest Areas Safe?
While they provide a convenient place to stretch our legs a bit the question is, are rest areas safe?
For the most part the law enforcement agencies do all they can to make these areas as safe as possible. Still, while crime statistics related to rest stops are difficult to come by, instances of robbery, vandalism, prostitution, and panhandling, among others, are not unheard of.
All that said, highway rest stops can serve as a safe and convenient place to take a break as long as you exercise a few common-sense precautions.
Tips for Rest Stop Safety
1) Never sleep at night in your car. It is never a good idea to try to save a little money by sleeping at a rest stop in your car. Some states, in fact, have made overnight parking and sleeping in your car illegal. In Illinois, it’s not illegal to sleep at night in your car at rest stops, but we don’t advise it.
Instead, find a motel or campground instead. They’re not free, but you’ll be much safer than you would be trying to save a few bucks sleeping in your car at a highway rest stop.
2) Don’t be a loner. When making your way to restrooms or vending machines, walk in pairs. Criminals see rest areas as an opportunity to surprise the unwary and tired traveler, who will probably be carrying money or credit cards.
If you’re traveling alone, avoid stopping at night at a rest stop. Instead, look for a place with a well-lighted parking lot – a gas station, truck stop, convenience store, or fast food restaurant to take your break.
3) Secure your property. When you leave your vehicle, take your cell phone with you, but leave other valuables hidden and locked securely in your car or truck. It’s also a good idea to use your key fob to lock your vehicle.
The sound it makes will let any thieves who may be lingering in the area know that they can only get into your vehicle by smashing a window. Most don’t want to do this since they don’t want to attract attention to what they’re doing.
4) Use your common sense. Rest stops are at their most dangerous after the sun goes down. So unless a rest stop is very well-lighted and has a lot of traffic, it’s best to keep driving after dark. Instead, again, look for a gas station, truck stop, convenience store, or fast food restaurant to take your break.
Alert Protective Services for Residential and Business Security
We hope you find these travel tips for staying safe helpful, and when you need security for either your home or business, we hope you’ll think of Alert Protective Services. We’ve protected homes and businesses throughout the Midwest since 1982 with the highest quality security options. And free security evaluations and quotes are always available.