Freeways, Expressways, and Interstates Cont'd

Entering and Exiting a Freeway

Entrance Ramp

Most often, entry areas to freeways are clearly labeled. Often a main thoroughfare (street) leads you along until you can see signs or the freeway entrance. You may travel along a side road for a time as well before you see the freeway entrance. 

Look for the blue interstate shield signs. Often, they will indicate on them also one of the four directions – north, south, east, west. Steer toward the direction, signal your intentions (put on turn signal) and ease onto the ramp. As you approach, begin to scan traffic on the interstate for any opening, gap, or space to move into. Sometimes at the end of the ramp is a meter, directing you to go or stop and wait for the light, or there is a yield sign asking you to use caution on entry. This allows traffic to trickle from the ramp onto the interstate to reduce congestion.

As you enter, merge safely into traffic and accelerate to speed.  Maintain speed and safe following distance.  Constantly check front and rear zones and blind spots, mirrors, and continually scan and sweep your eyes over traffic.

Potential Problems

If you see the ramp marked “DO NOT ENTER” or “WRONG WAY” immediately pull off to the side of the road and get clear of traffic. If it has not all ready, it will soon be coming directly at you!  You have entered the ramp the wrong way.  While this is not very common, and rather tough to do unless you are not paying attention to signs, it does happen.  When the way is clear, turn around, and leave the ramp. Avoid backing up or stopping dead on the ramp!

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