Expressway Driving

Topic Progress:

Collisions occur because of issues between drivers, high speeds, and visibility.

  • Characteristics Higher speeds
    Fewer exits and entrances (no intersections)
    Many lanes of traffic
    Minimum and maximum speed limitations
    Numerous cars
    “Highway Hypnosis”
  • Advantages of Expressway Driving
    Allow for more cars
    Collision rates are lower
    No cross traffic
    Separation of opposing traffic
    Types of vehicles are limited (no slow moving vehicles, bicycles)
  • Interchanges
    Stop signs are eliminated in order to allow for higher traffic speeds.
    Entry ramps and exit ramps allow drivers to move on and off of the freeway.

    Clover Leaf Interchange
    cloverleafIn a clover leaf interchange, two expressways can join together. There is typically a tight turn onto the entry and exit ramps.
    The problem with Clover Leaf Interchanges, is that vehicles entering and exiting the expressway must share a lane.

  • Diamond Interchange
    DivergingDiamondEntrance ramps are located at the beginning of these intersections.
    A diamond interchange allows vehicles to change between expressways and other roadways.

    Trumpet Interchange
    Trumpet interchanges allow vehicles to change from two-way roads into multi-lane roads, without interfering with/interrupting traffic.

    Service Road Interchanges
    Service road interchanges allow traffic to interchange between major multi-lane roadways and one and two way roadways.

  • Expressway Traffic Control Devices
    Service road interchanges are useful in major cities, where traffic is extremely dense.

    Highway traffic signs differ between regional areas. They may be distinct in shape and in colour. It is unlikely to find traffic signals on the highway, outside of lane usage signals (for example: to mark a closed lane)

    The expressway speed limit is 100km/h to 110km/h. There may also be a night speed, depending on your location.

    Entering an Expressway Expressways are constructed for high speed traffic. Entrance lanes are provided in order to manage traffic.

    Following proper procedures in these situations is important, in order to avoid collisions.

    Entering the Freeway
    Merging with steady flowing traffic on a freeway can be difficult.
    Apply the following techniques with caution, in order to ensure your safety, and the safety of other drivers.

  • ASSESS
    Check the speed and signs on the entry ramp.
    Can you enter safely?
    Check the current flow of traffic

    PREPARE

    Change your speed, based on the vehicles ahead and behind you
    Look for a space to enter
    Activate your left turn signal
  • EXECUTE
    On the acceleration lane, match your speed with traffic
    Check your mirrors and blind spot
    Match your vehicle with the available space in traffic
    Look ahead, and steer carefully into the lane to your right
    Get into the centre of your lane
    Match the speed of the currently flow of traffic
  • Common Driver Errors
    Fear or anxiety can cause issues with drivers merging correctly and safely.
    Do not reduce your speed or stop when attempting to merge on to the expressway. This could cause an accident.

    Reducing Risk on the Entrance Ramp
    Find your correct entrance
    Always be aware of what is going on ahead of you and behind you.
    Be aware of what is going on, on the expressway.
    Prepare to adjust your speed based on changing situations
    Do not stop on the ramp.

    Reducing Risk on the Acceleration Lane
    Look ahead and check for a gap in traffic
    Be prepared to change your speed
    Pull over onto the shoulder if no gap in traffic is available.

    Reducing Risk in Merging Areas
    Be aware of what is ahead and to your side.
    Match your speed with traffic
    Find your traffic change lanes.

  • Expressway Driving

    Plan Ahead
    Know where you are going in advance of your trip. Know which entrances and exits to look for.
    Be prepared for changing circumstances, which require you to alternate your route.

    Guide Signs
    Guide signs give you prior warning of exits. Be aware of these signs.

  • Driving on the Freeway
    Adjust your speed to the speed of cars around you.
    Keep a healthy space around your vehicle.

    Potential Dangers
    Braking at high speeds
    Field of Vision
    “Highway Hypnosis”
    Slower moving vehicles
    Entrance and exit ramps
    Vehicles on the shoulder
    Wind and other weather conditions

  • Lane Selection
    Remain in the right lane as much as possible
    Adjust your speed to the traffic, keeping the speed limit, weather, and time of day in mind.
    Maintain a safe distance between yourself and other vehicles

    Changing Lanes
    Check your blind spots when you change lanes on the freeway
    Only change one lane at a time. Do not attempt to change multiple lanes at once.

  • Passing
    Passing is extremely dangerous, especially at high speeds.
    On the expressway, vehicles may pass on the left or the right.
    Review correct passing procedures in chapter 15 and apply the SIDPE system to maximize your safety.

    Being Passed
    When another vehicle attempts to pass you, reduce your risk by doing the following:
    Maintain careful awareness of the passing vehicle
    Move away if the vehicle is too close to you
    Maintain your speed
    Adjust your speed, once the vehicle has passed you.

  • Approaching an Entrance Ramp
    While on the expressway, If you notice a vehicle attempting to enter on your right, cooperate by changing lanes to the left.
    If it is unsafe to change lanes to the left, adjust your speed to allow the driver to merge.
    When approaching an entrance, change lanes to the left, even If you do not see entering vehicles.
    Stay out of trouble by anticipating what may happen.
  • Exiting the Expressway
    Signs will give you advanced warning of your exit.

    Use the following in order to exit safely:
    ASSESS Verify the type of exist
    Check for entering traffic
    Check the exit speed and curve.
    Check your mirrors and blind spots.
    PREPARE Turn on your turn signal
    Maintain your speed.
    Check your mirrors and blind spots again.
    EXECUTE Aim and steer cautiously into the deceleration lane
    Apply the brakes firmly.
    Check your speed
    Reduce speed to posted speed
    Check for traffic
    Remain in the centre of the exit ramp
    Turn off your turn signal
    Maintain a safe distance between yourself and other vehicles

    If you miss your exit, continue ahead and exit with the next off-ramp. Do not reverse on the freeway. This is dangerous and illegal.