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Something is happening along United States highways that you may not know about, especially if it’s been a long time since you’ve taken a road trip. Interstate rest areas are slowly disappearing from the American landscape and that’s a big problem if you understand the benefit of interstate rest areas and know how important they are. These once plentiful institutions are dropping off the map and that’s a problem for anyone planning a road trip.
The main reason for this is the fact that most interstate rest areas used to be owned and operated by the transportation entity of the states they inhabited. It makes a lot of sense when you realize that every state wants to cut down on highway accidents and road rage incidents on their interstates. The best way to do that is to allow motorists to stop and rest for a little while.
Commercial Rest Areas take Over
As these state-run interstate rest areas are disappearing, they’re being replaced by commercially owned and operated areas that haven’t been put there for the public good. They’re being constructed as means to make motorists pull over and spend money, rather than seek out rest. That means that road trippers on a budget are more likely to pass them by rather than spend the amount of money it would take to get access to their facilities.
It’s easy to see this in play when you consider how a driver can find something to drink on a typical road trip. In previous years, it was easy for someone to pull into a stat run rest stop and get all the water they needed from free water fountains or inexpensive vending machines. Now, most rest stops are inhabited by chain restaurants that will charge you for sugary drinks or a premium for bottled water.
Why Rest Stops are Needed
The main reason that these state-run interstate rest stops are disappearing is funding. As excess money dries up, states have to close their rest stops and the drivers pay the price.
That’s why it’s important to understand the importance of these rest stops and support them whenever you can. Any good rest stop app will tell you where you can find the nearest interstate rest stops and what they have to offer you. Choose the state-run options and you’ll be supporting a service that can save lives and make your road trip less expensive.