You might not want to find yourself in this situation but in an absolute emergency, can you sleep in your car at one of Iowa's 38 rest stops?

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Having to pull over and sleep in your car at a rest stop might be uncomfortable or even creepy but sometimes it's better to be safe than sorry. You'd much rather have a bad night's sleep than risk your life and others because you're too tired to safely drive your car.

If you only need a few hours to rest your eyes can you legally do this in Iowa?

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Google Maps

Iowa Rest Area Rules

According to Boon Dockers Bible, "the state of Iowa has not adopted any laws specifically about the use of its highway rest areas." A lot of the time Iowa is pretty relaxed with laws and it appears that's the case with Iowa rest stops as well.

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While there might not necessarily be many laws regarding Iowa rest stops, the Iowa Department of Transportation normally has 'rules' that visitors are expected to follow.

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  • No Loitering or lingering in or about the restroom areas
  • No overnight camping
  • No moving, removing, defacing, destroying, or altering any state property
  • No consuming alcoholic beverages
  • No littering
  • No parking vehicles on the grass
  • Pets must be leashed and kept in designated areas or stay in the vehicle

When it comes to wanting to sleep in your car, it's pretty straightforward in Iowa.

"There are no rules or laws against sleeping in your vehicle while at an Iowa rest area. And because you have up to 24 hours to stay there, that would also include overnight sleeping."

See Also: Did You Know if You're Under 21 You Can Legally Drink in Iowa?

If you are ever in a situation where you believe it is more safe for you to pull over and sleep, instead of continuing to drive while you're tired, you're good to go in Iowa! You could sleep for an entire day if you really wanted to. You could stay longer at an Iowa rest stop if you can provide evidence for reasonable justification.

If the Red Bull has worn off and you believe you need to pull over to sleep, you're free to do so at Iowa rest stops. It might be creepy, strange, or uncomfortable but you should prefer an awkward night's sleep over seriously hurting yourself or someone else because you fell asleep at the wheel.

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