The interstate highway system was a brilliant innovation when the idea was first proposed by the United States Congress in 1944, though it wasn’t until 1956 that President Eisenhower signed the Federal-Aid Highway Act and construction came to fruition. Although Americans may have initially had mixed feelings about the interstate system, today it is a staple for travelling by car between states.
Using the interstate is now a common thing to do, even when not travelling across state lines. The interstate highway system gets travelers to their destinations quickly and efficiently, making it more attractive to use than commercial streets for longer distances. However, driving on the interstate is quite different from driving on other roads. The writers at MyDriver-Licenses.org have created a list of the most important things for drivers to know when using the interstate highway system.
Pay Attention to the Speed Limit
Many drivers assume that the highway is a place where it’s okay to drive at high speeds. Although this is technically true, as the speed limit on the interstate can range from 55 mph to 70 mph, it is not an invitation to ignore speeding laws.
The speed limit on the highway is generally not as strictly enforced as the speed limit in residential or commercial roads. However, the team at MyDriver-Licenses.org would like to note that the penalties for speeding on the interstate is can be much more costly than speeding on surface streets. Driving too fast on the highway can mean driving 85 mph or more, which may also be grounds for a reckless driving charge. At such high speeds, the driver is at extremely high risk for an accident because a car moving at that speed is much more difficult to control. Highway speeding fines can cost hundreds of dollars.
Prepare for Tolls
When driving to another state, there is a possibility that a toll will be required. Most interstate highways are public and do not have toll booths. However, private companies sometimes buy segments of an interstate highway and enforce tolls.
The team at MyDriver-Licenses.org suggests that travelers bring loose change for possible toll fees, or to research the route being traveled. In the past few years, many states have adopted toll systems that use an electronic billing system instead of coins. Not every state uses the same toll billing system. Travelers with prepaid tolling devices need to be aware that these devices do not necessarily work across state lines.
Understand the Interstate Numbering System
Did you know that it’s possible to determine which direction you’re travelling in when driving on the interstate? The interstate highway has a simple system that is used to help drivers know which way they’re going.
Interstate roads with even numbers run east to west, while roads with odd numbers run north to south. So for example, I-95 runs north to south, and I-10 runs east to west. This can be very helpful when a driver is lost or confused.
Prepare Your Car
Sometimes, drivers can travel 100 miles on the interstate before passing a gas station. For this reason, the experts at MyDriver-Licenses.org strongly encourage drivers to prepare their cars for long distances. Make sure that the tires are inflated and do not have any holes. If the car is due or about to be due for an oil change, now would be a great time to get one.