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Freeway Driving

Chapter 12. Freeway Driving. 12-1 The Freeway Driving Environment. Freeways Divided roadways with at least two lanes going in the same direction Built to maximize safety at higher speeds Lanes & shoulders are wider Signs & bridge supports are clear of the roadway

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Freeway Driving

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  1. Chapter 12 Freeway Driving

  2. 12-1 The Freeway Driving Environment • Freeways • Divided roadways with at least two lanes going in the same direction • Built to maximize safety at higher speeds • Lanes & shoulders are wider • Signs & bridge supports are clear of the roadway • Less time to react to an emergency situation • Typically more crowded than an open highway • Escape routes are limited

  3. Interchanges • Used to allow traffic to enter, exit, or cross a freeway without interrupting the normal flow of traffic • Types of Interchanges: • Cloverleaf • Diamond • Trumpet • Directional

  4. Types of Interchanges • Cloverleaf Interchange • Two freeways intersect, with ramps allowing drivers to move from one to the other without having to stop or turn

  5. Types of Interchanges • Diamond Interchange • A freeway intersects a highway with less traffic • Drivers must stop or yield before turning left or merging right into cross traffic

  6. Types of Interchanges • Trumpet Interchange • A freeway and highway form a “T” • Drivers exiting the freeway merge on the highway after one direction of traffic crosses over or under the freeway

  7. Types of Interchanges • Directional Interchange • Several freeways and/or highways meet • Traffic is channeled in various directions through a complicated series of elevated ramps

  8. Scanning for Danger • Scan ahead • Pay attention to signs, signals, roadway markings • Increase following distance • Identify hazards before you get to them • Be on the lookout for speedsters, constant lane changers, tailgaters, etc.

  9. Choosing a Lane • Depends on the volume and speed of traffic • Usually the center lanes are for through traffic • Left lane is for faster than normal traffic and for vehicles passing slower traffic • Right lane is for slower traffic or traffic preparing to exit • Avoid driving in this lane – cars are trying to merge

  10. Changing Lanes • Must be patient and cautious • So many lanes and so many cars • Drivers competing for the same space • Openings in traffic can appear and disappear in seconds • Only change one lane at a time • Accidents can and will happen

  11. 12-2 Entering Freeways • Three major parts of freeway entrance: • On-Ramps • May go up or down to the freeway • Never back up on an on ramp • Scan for a gap from the on ramp to prepare to merge • Acceleration Lane • A temporary lane that allows you to match speeds of the freeway before entering • Merging Area • Space where the acceleration lane merges with the freeway • Make speed adjustments and steer gradually into the through lane • Always merge into the first lane of the freeway

  12. 12-3 Exiting Freeways • Smoother than entering • More time to prepare • Deceleration Lanes • Allow drivers exiting the freeway to adjust to slower speed conditions • Don’t slow down to enter • That’s what the lane itself is for • Off-Ramps • Speed limits will be posted • Will be short and have sharp curves

  13. 12-4 Other Dangers of Freeway Driving • “Weave” Lanes • One of the most dangerous situations facing freeway drivers • Sharing acceleration and deceleration lanes • Occurs when an off-ramp is placed immediately after an on-ramp • Vehicles share right-of-way • Actively scan and communicate with other drivers • SPACE CUSHION

  14. 12-4 Other Dangers on the Freeway • Double-Merge Lanes • Separate lanes that stay separate throughout the entire merge • Entering the freeway • From the inner lane • Find and appropriate merging space with the through traffic • Watch out for vehicles from the outer lane • Exiting the freeway • Not as problematic, but be ready for drivers to make erratic changes • May get stuck on the inner lane and cut across to exit

  15. 12-4 Other Dangers on the Freeway • Express Lanes • Special reversible lanes that go into and out of cities • Make sure you know the direction of travel for that time of day

  16. 12-4 Other Dangers on the Freeway • Rush-Hour Traffic • Freeways are designed for high-speed driving, but not the case with Rush-Hour • Attempts to alleviate the problem • Road construction • Tollways • Commuter lanes • Carpool lanes • Metered on-ramps • Public transportation • Can and will be frustrating and dangerous • If traffic is stopped in one lane and not the other • Cars will move in and out of lanes • Traveling at high and low speeds • Don’t use the median or shoulder

  17. 12-4 Other Dangers on the Freeway • Tollways • Also called turnpikes, toll expressways, or toll roads • Can be connected to freeways and provide alternate routes • Signs will be posted telling you which lane to get into • Pay the toll at a toll booth • Usually located at exits or entrances to tollways • Three types of tollbooths • Scan • Machine-operated • Attendant operated • Approach with caution and allow plenty of time • It helps to have exact change ready. If you don’t, people will get irritated

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