Except there’s massive traffic congestion, have you ever seen a car crawling or driving at a very low-speed limit on an express? Definitely no. Have you wondered why?
How about when driving in an ordinary street, or on a road in between streets? Have you ever seen a car drive at the high speed it would have driven on an expressway? Have you pondered what the reason might be? If you have, then this article is for you.
Why is driving on an expressway different from driving on an ordinary street? It is because you must think faster and handle your vehicle more effectively.
The expressway is where all the vehicles driving swiftly are driving in one direction, however, for an ordinary street, the traffic flow is not swift, different types of drivers from inexperienced, to learners, to experts drive there, and most importantly, cars on such a road drive in different directions.
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What is an Expressway?
An expressway also called a highway or a controlled-access highway, or simply an express is a type of road that was originally designed for regulated or controlled high-speed traffic flows. Not just that, it is also for transporting many vehicles at the same time than a normal in-street road can take.
This means that on a highway, you cannot drive slow, because everyone is driving at a high speed. Driving slow can tilt the balance and cause fatal accidents.
The only time you see slow movements on a highway is when something is blocking the traffic flow up ahead, usually an accident.
On a highway, there are very few intersections, crosses and the exits are also little and determined.
Who Can Drive on an Expressway?
Only experienced drivers are allowed on the expressway, people with driver’s licenses, whose concentration level is top notch and are learned, are ready and prepared for any sudden moves by other road users.
For this reason, learners, people who drive with a learner’s permit are not allowed on the expressway.
The expressway is meant for people who know all the rules, can abide by all the rules, and are proactive enough to know when to keep their distance, and when there’s something wrong on the road to take swift decisions.
What is an Ordinary Street?
An ordinary street or ordinary highway as it is sometimes called is a road in which you face opposing traffic on the same road. This means that all the cars on that particular road are not going in the same direction. On one lane, cars are coming, and in another lane on the same road, some other cars are going.
On this type of road, you need to be very careful as well, your speed must be kept at the minimum speed limit because you cannot accurately predict where there’s an intersection or where cars coming from another road is turning into. You just cannot drive like you would on an expressway.
Also, on an ordinary street, the only thing that usually separates the two different traffic flows is a white paint lane that can be quickly driven over by an impatient driver.
Who Can Drive on an Ordinary Street?
Anyone who knows the basic knowledge of driving can drive on an ordinary street. An ordinary street is where learners are also permitted to drive.
Here, everyone is very careful, experienced drivers wait for a notch for drivers who are just learning and the learner’s tag is boldly gum to their car.
People drive at the minimum speed, so, it is not as dangerous to drive on an ordinary street as it is to drive on an expressway.
For this reason, both experienced drivers, inexperienced drivers, as well as learners can drive on an ordinary street. Driving schools teach their students on ordinary streets.
Why is Driving on an Expressway Different from Driving on an Ordinary Street?
For those preparing for their DMV written test, the answer to the question of why is driving on an expressway different from driving on an ordinary street is you must think faster and handle your vehicle more effectively.
Driving in an expressway is not an easy task, as everybody on an expressway drives at a very high speed since this is the purpose of an expressway. In an expressway, you have to be alert, be proactive, think ahead, think and make decisions very fast.
However, on an ordinary street, you are a lot more relaxed, driving at the minimum speed because there can be intersections at any point, and also because it’s in between streets, you want to be careful.
Another thing with expressways is that everyone is driving in one direction, so it is easier for the traffic flow to be high, since everyone is facing the same direction, unlike an ordinary street where the flow of traffic is in different directions.
Also, for expressways, there are no sudden stops, pedestrian crossings, intersections, sudden curves, or railroad stops/crossings. It’s just one straight road that leads a few kilometers down the line.
However, it is not the same as an ordinary street. Here, you have to be very careful, because people can try to cross the road suddenly, there are a lot of signs on the road, traffic isn’t flowing in one way, but is flowing in different directions.
For this reason, only experienced drivers who can make quick decisions on the road are allowed to drive on expressways, because driving on expressways is a whole different ballgame.
What is the Speed Limit of a Car on an Expressway?
The maximum speed limit required of vehicles on an expressway in the United States is 75 miles per hour (mph), which is equivalent to 121 kilometers per hour (km/h), for interstate expressways. However, for expressways within the states, the maximum speed limit allowed is 65 mph.
This varies with different vehicles and different situations though. For example, the maximum speed limit allowed for taxis and buses on highways is different from the speed limit allowed for tow vehicles, or tankers and trailers.
Also, the maximum speed limit allowed on expressways during the day is different from what is attainable at night.
What Should You Not Do When Driving on an Expressway?
There are lots of Donts when driving on an expressway. Here are a few:
1. Never Stop on an Expressway
Except you have booked a date with the grim reaper for that day, you should never stop suddenly on an expressway, except the traffic isn’t flowing at all.
Stopping suddenly on an expressway almost always leads to a terrible disaster.
2. Never Reverse
Even if you have driven past your exit and the next turn to get back on the right road is another 30-minute drive, you should never be tempted to ‘see if you can squeeze yourself into the exit you have passed.
You should take another 30-minute drive than cause an accident.
3. Don’t Step Out of Your Vehicle
In a flowing traffic expressway, whatever you do, don’t step out of your vehicle except you ultimately have to, say to save your life as your vehicle is about to explode.
If you find yourself in such a situation, quickly step out and move away from the nearest traffic flow on the highway.
4. Don’t Drive While You’re Sleepy
You have to be on high alert when you drive on an express. Don’t drive when you’re already tired and sleepy. You can sleep off while driving and then slip off from this world due to a fatal accident.
5. Don’t be Distracted
Keep away anything that can make you distracted on a fast-moving expressway, such as your phone, or any other gadget or device.
What Should You Not Do When Driving on an Ordinary Street?
- Don’t Drive at High Speed: Always maintain the minimum speed limit anytime you’re driving on an ordinary street, as traffic is moving in two directions.
- Don’t be Distracted: Don’t let anything distract you whenever you’re driving, whether on an ordinary street or an expressway.
- Don’t Drink and Drive: When you drink or even eat as you drive, you are also distracted and will not completely pay attention.
- Don’t Drive Like You’re the Only one on the Road: Be considerate of other drivers on the road.
- Don’t Pay Too Much Attention: Especially to the flow in the other direction that you forget your direction.
Whenever you are driving on an expressway;
- Always be switched on and on high alert.
- Ensure that you are making decisions as swiftly as possible, and don’t switch lanes too often, it can confuse other drivers.
- Ensure you maintain a high speed, but it should be within the speed limit of the highway.
When you’re driving on an ordinary street;
- Be careful, as the traffic flow is in two directions.
- Maintain the minimum speed limit and ensure you are at attention.
- Pay attention to the intersections and pedestrians.
You’re not the only one on the road!