Characteristics and Potential Impacts of Rest Areas Proximate to Roadways: A Review

Fathi Alkhatni1, 2, *, Siti Z. Ishak1, 3, Abdalrhman Milad4
1 Malaysia Institute of Transport (MITRANS), Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM), 40450 Shah Alam, Selangor, Malaysia
2 Department of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Garaboulli, Elmergib University, Al khums, Libya
3 Faculty of Civil Engineering, Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM), 40450 Shah Alam, Selangor, Malaysia
4 Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, College of Engineering and Architecture, University of Nizwa, Birkat-al-Mouz, 616, Nizwa, Sultanate of Oman

Article Metrics

CrossRef Citations:
Total Statistics:

Full-Text HTML Views: 1096
Abstract HTML Views: 301
PDF Downloads: 290
ePub Downloads: 163
Total Views/Downloads: 1850
Unique Statistics:

Full-Text HTML Views: 635
Abstract HTML Views: 172
PDF Downloads: 207
ePub Downloads: 107
Total Views/Downloads: 1121

Creative Commons License
© 2021 Alkhatni et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Malaysia Institute of Transport (MITRANS), Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM), 40450 Shah Alam, Selangor, Malaysia; Tel: 0183926300; E-mail:



Rest areas are one of the most common roadside service facilities designated for parking and resting purposes. They are considered crucial components in the roadway network since they provide road users with a safe and comfortable place nearby the mainline. Obtaining extensive information on the planning, advantages, and potential effects of rest areas will help establish a better understanding of their characteristics and essential benefits. This will enable decision-makers and safety engineers to implement effective policies. Therefore, this paper reviews the literature on the development and impact of rest areas close to roadways. The objectives of this paper are as follows: to discuss the potential positive and negative effects of rest areas, to determine major challenges, to provide recommendations for implementing such facilities based on the literature search, and to fill a research gap.


The review focuses on articles and reports addressing the features and impacts of rest areas and parking facilities published in English. The literature on parking demands related to rest area facilities is not within the scope of this research.


The challenges and recommendations concerning the development and safety aspects of rest areas are critically discussed. The review of numerous studies concerning the safety and operation of rest areas has revealed conflicting results. Although several studies found that establishing rest area facilities proximate to roadway segments positively impacts safety and operation, some indicated that such facilities might pose safety and operation risks along adjacent sections. Thus, this paper highlights a gap in the research area, determining the distribution patterns of crashes occurring along the proximate segments of rest areas.


Although rest areas do help in mitigating fatigue-related crashes, the review highlights that future research should investigate the relationship between roadway features and collisions occurring along nearby segments of rest areas to fully understand the safety effects of rest areas nearby the mainline. This work is beneficial for decision-makers and safety engineers since it provides valuable information in terms of the planning features of rest areas and parking facilities, along with their essential impact.

Keywords: Rest area, Parking facility, Planning, Benefit, Safety, Crash, Fatigue.