Is It Safe to Sleep in Your Car?

It's not unusual to want to stop for a nap break on a long road trip. Sometimes, long drives can take a toll on your body. There are currently no national laws that say sleeping in your car is illegal, but you can suffer some consequences depending on where you choose to park. 


If you don't have expressed consent to sleep on private property (outside of your own), many cities have places that you can opt to stay for your break. There are rest areas, campgrounds, and truck stops that may allow you to take a few hours to rest. In these cases, it's always a wise idea to plan ahead your stops or rest breaks before you hit the road. We suggest keeping a list of available rest stops along your route and call ahead to ask for expressed permission. 


Restful sleep may not be worth justifying with the amount of risk sleeping in your car can impose. In the very worst case, falling asleep with the engine running can cause carbon monoxide levels to skyrocket inside your cabin, resulting in death. Besides harmful gases, you can be at risk of another person's recklessness, theft, or assault. If someone nearby alerts law enforcement (out of concern), the consequences can be bad too. 


If sleeping in your car is unavoidable, make sure to have a backup plan. Driving when you're overly exhausted can also be dangerous, so we understand that you may need to rest. To make the best decision, stay informed about the local laws and pick safe areas to relax. If you must drive a long distance, you can always get someone else in the car to help you drive while you sleep for a couple of hours. 


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