INTERSTATE DRIVING Characteristics of Expressways • Expressways/Controlled-Access Highways – vehicles can only enter and exit at interchanges. • Expressways include: interstates, freeways, turnpikes, toll roads, parkways, and some beltways. • Despite the high speed and heavy traffic, you are safer on an expressway. • Cross traffic is eliminated. • There is a median or barrier between opposing lanes of traffic. • Pedestrians and slow moving vehicles are no permitted on expressways. • They have wide shoulders and signs are designed to help you anticipate what is ahead. Expressway Interchanges • Cloverleaf Interchange – Resembles a four-leaf clover and enables a driver to proceed in either direction. Expressway to expressway. • Diamond Interchange – used when the cross street is not as busy as the expressway. Expressway Interchanges • Trumpet Interchange – when side road form T with expressway. • All-Directional Interchange – used in complicated intersections with a high volume of traffic. Traffic is channeled in many directions. Safe Expressway Driving • Travel about the same speed as other drivers on the road. • Know the name of roads, route numbers, and entrances/exits you will use. • Plan stops for food, fuel, and rest when driving long distances. • Keep vehicle in top condition to guard against mechanical failure on expressways. Expressway Entrances • Entrance Ramp – build speed and prepare to enter expressway. (1) • Acceleration Lane – accelerate to speed of traffic and look for gap to merge onto expressway. (2) • Merging Area – this is where you blend into expressway traffic. (3) 3 2 1 ENTERING THE INTERSTATE • Accelerating • The first thing that you need to do before entering the flow of traffic on the interstate is to get up to speed. • The ramp area gives the driver time to evaluate traffic conditions. • If you don’t get up to speed or if you slow down or stop on the on-ramp, then you are greatly increasing your chances of a rear-end collision. ENTRANCE RAMP PROBLEMS • 1. PICKING THE WRONG LANE TO MERGE. • 2. TRAFFIC AHEAD AND BEHIND ON THE RAMP. • 3. SHARP CURVES ON THE RAMP. • 4. VISIBILITY PROBLEMS AHEAD AND TO THE EXPRESSWAY. ACCELERATION LANE • THIS IS THE AREA TO GET THE SPEED UP TO OR NEAR THE SPEED OF THE TRAFFIC ON THE EXPRESSWAY. • THE AMOUNT OF ACCELERATION DEPENDS ON THE TRAFFIC FLOW OF THE EXPRESSWAY. • MERGING AREA • ACCELERATION LANE • RAMP Entering the Gap in Flow checking ACCERELATION LANE PROBLEMS • 1. AMOUNT OF TRAFFIC IN LANE AND ON THE EXPRESSWAY. • 2. SHORT ACCELERATION LANE • 3. LIMITED SPACE AHEAD • 4. ACTIONS OF DRIVERS AHEAD AND BEHIND MERGING • As you reach the end of the on ramp, drivers on the interstate should try and make room for merging traffic, but the entering traffic must yield right of way to the vehicles already on the interstate. • This means that if you are merging onto the interstate, then it is your responsibility to try and find a safe opening in which to merge. • If there is a car in the lane that you are trying to merge, then usually the safest thing to do is to slow and try and merge behind the car next to you. MERGING • Some on-ramps aren’t very long. That means that you won’t necessarily have a lot of time to prepare to enter the interstate; therefore, accelerate at a consistent and steady pace. • Check the lane of traffic that you are trying to merge into. Use your turn signal, and then check your mirror and blind spot before finally merging onto the interstate. MERGING IN THE PROPER LANE • When merging, stay in the right lane to get used to the freeway faster rhythm. • Center Vehicle in Proper Lane Adjust Speed to Traffic Flow and Law MERGING ON TO THE INTERSTATE • MERGING FROM THE RIGHT PICKING THE WRONG LANE THIS IS THE WRONG WAY TO ENTER THE INTERSTATE TRAFFIC FLOW. USE ACCELERATION LANE AND MERGING LANE MERGING ON TO THE INTERSTATE • MERGING FROM THE LEFT MERGING AREA PROBLEMS HEAVY TRAFFIC LACK OF A GAP TO MERGE TRAFFIC SLOWING OR STOPPING AHEAD VISIBILITY PROBLEMS AHEAD AND TO THE SIDE EXITING FROM THE EXPRESSWAY • THE EXIT HAS TWO COMPONENTS: • DECELATRATION LANE - AN ADDED LANE IN WHICH TO SLOW DOWN AND EXIT SAFELY. • EXIT RAMP - RAMP LEADING OFF THE EXPRESSWAY OR INTERSTATE. THESE MAY BE LEVEL, SHARPLY CURVED, UPHILL OR DOWNHILL. BE SURE TO ADJUST YOUR SPEED FOR THE RAMP SPEED LIMIT. EXITING FROM THE EXPRESSWAY • IMPORTANT FACT: • IF YOU MISS YOUR EXIT, GO ON TO THE NEXT EXIT. IF YOU HAVE SELECTED THE WRONG EXIT RAMP----- CONTINUE TO EXIT! • NEVER STOP AND BACK UP !!! EXITING FROM THE EXPRESSWAY • IDENTIFY THE EXIT EARLY EXITING FROM THE EXPRESSWAY • EXITS ARE MARKED WITH GUIDE SIGNS, USUALLY ONE TO TWO MILES BEFORE THE EXIT. • IN ALL STATES, THE EXIT NUMBER CORRESPONDS WITH MILE MARKER NUMBERS. • YOU CAN DETERMINE IF AN EXIT IS A RIGHT EXIT OR LEFT EXIT BY THE POSITION OF THE EXIT NUMBER ON THE SIGN. • ABOUT ½ MILE, BEFORE THE EXIT, SIGNAL, AND MOVE TO THE LANE CLOSEST TO THE DECELRATION LANE. EXITING FROM THE EXPRESSWAY • DECELERATION LANE: • ABOUT ½ MILE, BEFORE THE EXIT, SIGNAL, AND MOVE TO THE LANE CLOSEST TO THE DECELERATION LANE. CHECK YOUR MIRRORS. USE YOUR TURN SIGNAL TO ALERT DRIVERS YOU PLAN TO EXIT. 1 EXITING FROM THE EXPRESSWAY • MOVE INTO THE DECELERATION LANE• MAINTAIN YOUR CURRENT SPEED • UNTIL YOUR ARE OUT OF THE FLOW • OF TRAFFIC 2 EXITING FROM THE EXPRESSWAY • RELEASE THE ACCELERATION AND CHECK YOUR REAR VIEW MIRROR FOR TRAFFIC BEHIND YOU. CONTINUE REDUCING YOUR SPEED TO THE APPROPRIATE EXIT SPEED. 3 POSSIBLE EXITING PROBLEMS WEAVE LANE CONFLICTS TRAFFIC ON THE EXIT RAMP SHORT DECELERATIONS LANE VERY SLOW RAMP SPEEDS EXITING FROM THE EXPRESSWAY • TRAFFIC ENTERING AND EXITING THE EXPRESSWAY USES THE SAME LANE (WEAVE) TO AVOID A CONFLICT, THE DRIVER IN THE BLUE CAR ENTERING FROM THE ENTRANCE RAMP MUST YIELD THE RIGHT OF WAY TO THE DRIVER IN THE RED CAR WHO IS LEAVING THE EXPRESSWAY. POTENTIAL EXITING PROBLEMS THERE MAY BE A STOP SIGN OR A TRAFFIC LIGHT AT THE END OF THE EXIT RAMP. THE DRIVER MUST ADJUST FROM A FAST SPEED TO A STOP IN A SHORT DISTANCE. WEAVE LANE CONFLICTS TRAFFIC STOPPED ON THE EXIT RAMP SHORT DECELERATION LANE SHARP CURVE ON RAMP ON THE EXPRESSWAY………. • DO NOT: DRIVE OVER OR ACROSS THE MEDIAN OR YELLOW PAINTED LINE. ON THE EXPRESSWAY………. • DO NOT: MAKE A LEFT TURN OR A U-TURN ON CROSSOVERS (DESIGNATED FOR EMERGENCY VEHICLES ONLY). USE THE LEFT EXCEPT FOR PASSING (RIGHT LANE IS THE DRIVING LANE) [ LEFT LANE IS FOR PASSING SLOWER VEHICLES] ON THE EXPRESSWAY………. • DO NOT: CHANGE LANES WITH SIGNALLING AND CHECKING FOR AN ADEQUATE GAP IN TRAFFIC. DRIVE ONTO AN EXPRESSWAY EXCEPT FROM AN ON-RAMP. ON THE EXPRESSWAY………. • DO NOT: PARK OR STOP ON AN EXPRESSWAY SHOULDER UNLESS YOU HAVE AN EMERGENCY OR MECHANICAL DIFFICULTIES. BACKUP ON THE SHOULDER OR WALK OR RIDE A BIKE . HIGHWAY HYPNOSIS • Driving for a long time can be boring, especially at night or when you drive at the same speed for long distances. You can become "hypnotized" where everything seems to float by and you pay less attention to what is happening around you. You may even fall asleep. HIGHWAY HYPNOSIS • • • • • • • • • • • You can help prevent highway hypnosis by following a few simple rules: Don't eat a heavy meal before you drive. Wear comfortable clothing. Talk with your passengers, but not to the point of distraction. Keep your eyes moving and check your mirrors often. Take an interest in all road signs and traffic around you. Take a coffee or walking break every hour. Don't try to drive too far in one day. Avoid driving during your normal sleeping hours. Keep the temperature in your vehicle cool. If you do start to become drowsy, do something different immediately. Open a window; talk to passengers; sing out loud; move your body around a bit. • Stop at the next service centre or rest area and take a short walk or have a coffee and eat a light snack. If you don't feel any more alert, find a place to sleep for an hour or for the night. HIGHWAY HYPNOSIS • If you do start to become drowsy, do something different immediately. Open a window; talk to passengers; sing out loud; move your body around a bit. • Stop at the next service center or rest area and take a short walk or have a coffee and eat a light snack. If you don't feel any more alert, find a place to sleep for an hour or for the night.