Located just off the side of the road, highway rest stops are convenient spots for travelers to use the restroom, stretch their legs, and enjoy a snack. However, rest areas are often in unfamiliar and remote locations, so it's important to be cautious when stopping.
Only stop at a well-lit location. Put the transmission in Park and immediately verify that you have cell phone coverage at that rest area. If you don't, continue driving.
Protect your property
Take your cell phone with you wherever you go, but leave your other belongings — such as your cash, wallet, purse and electronics — hidden in your locked vehicle. Carrying these could make you a potential target for thieves.
Don't go it alone
Walk with someone to the bathroom, vending machines, and other areas. If you're traveling alone, try to avoid rest stops at night. Rather, opt to break at a gas station or restaurant.
Never sleep in your car
Sleeping at rest areas can make you vulnerable to attackers. In fact, many states have outlawed sleeping at rest stops. Spend the night at a hotel or campground instead. These options may cost, but extra safety may be worth the money.
Before your trip, research rest areas on your route to find the safest places to stop. If there aren't any appealing options, plan stops in different cities or towns you'll pass through. Use this Google Map to find interstate rest stops across the United States.