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Advice for Female Drivers?
Hi! I am not a woman but we do share something, common sense lol. If you have a bad feeling trust it!
I leave from the NYC area and have no problems stopping at the rest stops in NJ. Delaware has a huge rest stop well lit and like the NJ rest stops have gas as well in well lit areas it is left lane access.
Maryland has a large rest area (Chesapeake House) with gas as well, again left lane access, they have other rest stops that are just on I-95 just set further back and seem less frequented than I would feel comfortable for a mom alone with her daughter using. I have always filled up the either in Jersey or Delaware on the drive south so I have been good to go until just south of Richmond.
As you are south of Baltimore you will have plenty of company as you near DC, and depending on the time of day PLENTY of company lol. Virginia has radar detectors illegal, so keep that in mind if you use one. I-95 in northern Virginian is wide open, complete with HOV lanes (not always in use), but between Quantico being the home of the Marines to all the Civil War battlefields, King's Dominion amusement park etc there always seems to be company around.
The area around Fredericksburg has a large relatively new, visitor's center (kids always need to use the facilities after all). Further south towards Richmond I have never gotten off I-95 for, as cities tend to have areas that as travelers we don't know where is good or bad.
South of Richmond, in the Petersburg area, Police enforcement picks up major league, from Petersburg south to the North Carolina line (no 5 mile an hour grace period here, set cruise control). It is definately more rural now.
North Carolina & South Carolina are very rural, at the North Carolina/South Carolina border there is the famous "South of the Border" tourist attraction (from miles away you should sea the "Pedro tower" for viewing purposes. SOB has shops, restaurants, and attractions that if your daughter needs a leg stretch you could hit.
South Carolina I have found recently has the best gas prices on I-95, South Carolina is a looong state to drive along I-95, you'll be nearing 3 hours, but there will be signs for BBQ joints along the way, if either stomach starts growling. (as a northerner if I can just say, the southern people still have the polite, sweet, and welcoming way about them, if you have a question, ask. Unlike my fellow northerners they always seem happy to help).
You will see Police/State Troopers/Sheriff Dept. vehicles along the median. both Carolina's can become pretty quiet insofar as traffic goes as there aren't too many bigger towns along the route. If you like Fireworks there will be plenty of places to hit lol.
Georgia goes by quicker although again not all that much to view. I usually gas up at the last exit in Georgia before Florida due to gas prices. I have found it safe hitting the well known hotels/motels, a lot of rest stops in the south have both marked and unmarked patrols at those sites. Some rest stops are for truck use only, passenger vehicles NOT ALLOWED, but signs alert you to such. Some rest stops have picnic tables and dog walking areas if you want to sit out and eat. I have never had any issues, again I go by my gut and common sense, it's better to hop back on I-95 if it just doesn't feel "right" then to regret it. If i think up anything else I will add some more, Safe Trip & Enjoy!
p.s. I hope I didn't ramble on too long, I just didn't know where your start point was.
Yes. Be safe, as you would anywhere else.
Only stop at major plazas or shopping malls. Follow your GPS faithfully. Buy gas in a major area, a major stop where there's a lot of activity.
As far as where to stay - you may want to choose an area - and reserve a room in advance - in an area where there's a lot of activity.
And if you stop at a place for bathroom / food / gas, and it doesn't feel right or comfortable to you - drive on.