Driving on Highways CH. 16
Ch. 16 Vocabulary Controlled access. Cloverleaf interchange. Diamond interchange. Trumpet interchange. All-directional interchange. Entrance ramp. Acceleration lane. Merging area. Common speed. Deceleration lane-
Ch. 16 Vocabulary Continued Exit ramp. Entrance ramp. Highway hypnosis. Velocitation. High-occupancy toll. Spur. Ramp meter. Reversible lane-
16. 1 Classifications of Highways
Bring your GPS for this!
Good rule to live by.
Classifications In the US there are three different classifications of highways. The Interstate System. The US Highway System. The State Highway System. Name and design features for highways vary.
Characteristics of Expressway Driving Advantages of Expressways Expressway Interchanges Safe Driving Strategies
Advantages of Expressways A controlled-access highway is a highway that vehicles can enter and exit only at interchanges. Fewer collisions ◦ Cross traffic is eliminated. ◦ Has a median or barrier between opposing lanes of traffic. ◦ Pedestrians, non-motorized vehicles, and slow moving vehicles are not permitted. ◦ Wide shoulders and extra-wide underpasses provide good escape paths. ◦ Signs are designed to help drivers anticipate conditions well ahead.
Examples of Expressways: Interstate highways Freeways Turnpikes Toll roads Parkways Beltways
Fewer Collisions Expressways have fewer collisions for five main reasons: No cross traffic. Expressways have a median. No pedestrians, slow-moving vehicles, and non-motorized vehicles. Wide shoulders and extra-wide underpasses provide good escape paths. Signs are designed to help drivers anticipate conditions well ahead.
Grade Elevation Grade elevation means that bridges and tunnels are used to direct traffic over or under other travel lanes.
4 Expressway Interchanges are places where drivers can cross over or under as well as enter or leave the expressway. Cloverleaf Diamond Trumpet All-directional
Non-controlled access refers to a highway in which traffic can enter or leave at any point, not just at interchanges. Turnpikes are used to designate toll roads. The US highway system was the first highway network that connected states. The state highway system is a network of highways existing within the boundaries of a state.
Safe Driving Strategies When driving on expressways, you should travel at about the same speed as other vehicles. Prepare yourself and your vehicle ◦ Travel plans ◦ Know your route taken ◦ Plan stops for food, fuel, and rest ◦ Keep vehicle in top condition to guard against mechanical failure
Build experience gradually ◦ Choose a time when traffic is light. ◦ Avoid rush-hour traffic. ◦ Practice entering and exiting several times. ◦ In light traffic, practice lane changes. Concentrate on the Driving Task ◦ Traffic conflicts develop more rapidly. ◦ High-speed expressway driving can present a high degree of risk.
Cooperate with other drivers ◦ Resist the urge to challenge other drivers. ◦ React cautiously if someone cuts you off. ◦ Be courteous to others.
16. 2 Entering Controlled Access Highways ◦ Guide signs mark most entrances and give the route number, direction, and name of a major city located in that direction. ◦ Expressway Entrance ◦ Entrance ramp ◦ Evaluate zone conditions. ◦ Determine the best speed. ◦ Acceleration lane ◦ Search for a gap to merge into. ◦ Accelerate with the flow of traffic. ◦ Merging area ◦ Vehicle blend into expressway traffic. ◦ Merge at same speed as vehicles in nearest lane.
Another sign different States place on entrance ramps.
The entrance ramp gives you time to evaluate zone conditions and determine the best speed as you prepare to enter the expressway. The acceleration lane is usually long enough for you to search for a gap in which to merge and accelerate to the speed of traffic on the expressway. The merging area is the third part of an expressway entrance where vehicles blend into expressway traffic. Evaluate how much time and space you have in your open front zones for merging into the flow of traffic. NEVER back up on an entrance ramp or on an expressway.
Steps for entering ◦ Make sure the entrance is the one you want. ◦ Check front and rear zones, signal and take quick glances over shoulder to find a gap, look for an entrance ramp signal light. ◦ Gradually increase speed and decide when it is a safe time and place to merge. ◦ Before merging, decide which vehicle to follow, adjust speed to match traffic flow, position vehicle at a safe interval behind car. ◦ Cancel signal and adjust speed to flow of traffic, keep a space cushion around vehicle.
Possible entrance problems ◦ Entering wrong entrance ramp. ◦ Other vehicles. ◦ Short entrance ramp, search for gap early. ◦ No acceleration lane. ◦ High walls that divide expressway traffic and entering traffic. Entrance ramp signal lights ◦ Help space traffic. ◦ Usually red and green, determined electronically by volume of traffic.
A hole in traffic is an empty space between traffic clusters allowing a point for entry. A ramp meter is a set of traffic signals that controls traffic flow onto the highway.
Acceleration lane problems ◦ Rush hour traffic ◦ Very short acceleration lanes, need a larger gap to enter traffic and accelerate to traffic speed ◦ Make every effort not to stop, if you must stop ◦ Flash brake lights ◦ Pull onto the shoulder ◦ Wait of large, safe gap the signal and accelerate quickly as you join the traffic flow
Merging area problems ◦ Adjusting your speed. ◦ Closed front zone. Entrance ramp on left ◦ Merger into far left lane of expressway traffic. ◦ High speed traffic lane, the potential for a conflict is greater. ◦ Visual checks over your right shoulder is more difficult than the left.
Some expressway entrance ramps are located on the left or the expressway. This is a problem since this lane is usually used for high-speed traffic, so the potential for conflict is greater than when you enter from the right.
11. 3 Strategies for Driving on Expressways Applying the IPDE Process ◦ Higher speeds, multiple lanes, and a heavier volume of traffic can make the identify and predict steps more difficult. ◦ Identify ◦ Designed to give drivers long sight distance. ◦ High speeds, multiple lanes can reduce visual information. ◦ Be aware of other drivers not fully focused. ◦ Do not become trapped between larger vehicles.
This car is now blocked by the trucks how could this be a problem?
◦ Predictable traffic flow. ◦ Parked vehicles on shoulder may pull out. ◦ Watch for slowing traffic. ◦ Decide ◦ Speed magnifies driver’s indecision. ◦ Avoid last second decisions or driving adjustments. ◦ Interchanges can be high-collision areas. ◦ Execute your decisions smoothly. ◦ Signal early.
Lane choice ◦ Safer to drive in right lane. ◦ Pass on the left. ◦ Reserve center and left lane for passing and faster traffic. ◦ Use center lane around entrance ramps with a high volume of traffic ◦ Signs, signals, and roadway markings. ◦ Know your destination. ◦ Read signs and roadway markings. ◦ Always think ahead.
If there is a yellow X in the lane you are driving in it is going to be closed ahead. If there is a red X in the lane ahead that lane is closed. Common Speed is the speed used by most drivers and by using this you can better blend with expressway traffic. Wolf packs are groups of vehicles traveling together in a bunch on the expressway.
Reversible lanes are traffic lanes where traffic can travel in either direction depending on certain conditions. HOT stands for High occupancy toll lanes. They allow drivers to pay a fee in order to drive in an HOV lane with only one person in the vehicle.
Signs like these are promoting driving safety.
Following ◦ 3 second following distance is a safe plan under ideal conditions. ◦ Increase when conditions are less than ideal. ◦ Following a large vehicle. ◦ Following a motorcyclist. ◦ Bad weather. ◦ Bad roadway conditions. ◦ Heavy traffic. ◦ Being tailgated. ◦ Pulling a trailer. ◦ Entering or exiting an expressway.
◦ Blind spots ◦ Both left-rear and right-rear zones. ◦ Do not travel in another driver’s blind spot. ◦ Being followed ◦ Reduce speed to encourage tailgaters to pass. ◦ Change lane if needed. ◦ Check rear zone frequently. ◦ Do not slow if heavy traffic prevents a tailgater from passing.
Lane Changing ◦ Avoid change lanes too often. ◦ Change lanes one at a time. ◦ Signal each lane change. ◦ Check blind spot before changing lane. ◦ Cancel signal.
Passing ◦ ◦ Is easier on expressway than highway because all cars are going in the same direction. Expressway speeds and high volume of traffic demand caution and concentration. Pass on left is most common. Pass on right if a slow driver is occupying the left lane. Being passed ◦ Be aware of vehicle position doing the passing. ◦ Move to lane position 2 or 3 when needed. ◦ Keep speed steady, do not accelerate.
16. 4 Exiting Expressways Move into lane designated by the sign. Deceleration lane is an added lane in which to slow your vehicle without blocking the vehicles behind. ◦ Slow your vehicle. Exit ramp ◦ Leading off the expressway. ◦ Leads into a sharp curve. ◦ Miss exit, go to next exit
As you enter the deceleration lane you must check for these four things: Judge the lane’s length. Identify the exit-ramp speed. Check speed while braking. Check traffic in rear zones.
16. 5 Special Expressway Problems Driver conditions ◦ Highway Hypnosis. ◦ An inattentive drowsy state. ◦ Fall-asleep Collisions ◦ More than 100, 000 each year. ◦ Drivers fail to recognize their own fatigue and sleepiness.
◦ Velocitation ◦ Hours of driving can fool you into thinking your vehicle is traveling slower than it really is. ◦ Continue to drive at expressway speed after exiting. Roadway Conditions ◦ Expressways through cities. ◦ More exit and entrance ramps. ◦ Drive in the center lane. ◦ Know your exit well in advance. ◦ Get into the correct lane early. ◦ Search constantly for signs, signals, roadway markings.
◦ Disabled vehicle ◦ Check rear zones and signal. Pull off shoulder ◦ Turn on hazard flashers ◦ Raise the hood and tie a white cloth on the antenna or door handle ◦ If you have a cell phone, call for help ◦ If you have flares or reflectors, set them out at least 500 feet behind ◦ Get back into car and lock all doors ◦ Never get into a stranger’s vehicle ◦ Do not direct traffic
Never stand in the roadway and direct traffic! A beltway is a loop going around a city. A spur is a road taking you into a city.
◦ Roadway Repair ◦ Orange construction signs. ◦ Reduce your speed. ◦ Follow directions of construction workers. ◦ Rural Interstate Highways ◦ Driving long distances, can become monotonous. ◦ Check speed frequently. ◦ Pass larger, or slower moving vehicle with it is safe. ◦ Tollbooths ◦ Located along many expressways. ◦ Rumble strips – warn of tollbooths and for you to check your speed.
◦ Three types of tollbooths ◦ Automatic, drivers deposit coins into a machine. ◦ Operated by an attendant, drivers without exact change. ◦ Electronic, device located on dash of vehicle, has a prepaid account. ◦ Using Expressways Safely ◦ Cooperation among drivers. ◦ Concentration on the driving task. ◦ Use of the IPDE Process. It is a $25 dollar fine for running a toll in Florida.