Rest stops were created for traveler convenience and accident prevention. We should take every advantage of this service provided by the states when traveling.
Make your travels fun by using rest stops as a refreshing break. Most rest stops have some area that is free of cars where you can walk, stretch, play a short game of catch or tag with the kids. Many rest stops have shaded areas that are great for a snack break. Take a few minutes to drink a soda or bottle of water and just relax for a few minutes.
Now why shouldn’t you just use the rest stop as a emergency in-and-out bathroom break and hurry on down the road?
One of the main reasons is accident prevention. When you are driving long distances without a break it is very easy to become fatigued or hypnotized and not be fully aware of trouble brewing on the road in front of you. The few minutes extra that you take at a rest stop allows your mind to refresh, your muscles to relax and your energy level to recover. If you are traveling with children, the longer rest stop will also reduce the amount of irritability of everyone in the car.
These days we all seem to be in a hurry and forget to enjoy the journey when we are traveling. Reading the boards at the rest stops with historical, scenic or wildlife information gives us a better appreciation of the area. When we are traveling with others this stimulates conversation and helps keep the driver awake.
Using rest stops when you are traveling alone is an excellent way to stay fresh and alert. Many rest stops have free coffee on holiday weekends and there are vending machines with beverages available most of the time. When traveling alone, be extra cautious when using rest stops after dark in isolated areas because you are more vulnerable to crime.
Make rest stops fun, restful and unhurried. This will help you arrive at your destination safely and less fatigued.