What Is The Difference Between A Freeway And A Highway?

Many people may think that a freeway and a highway are essentially two of the same things, but this is not the case. There are some major differences between a freeway and a highway, and each has required laws that all drivers must follow.

Both freeways and highways refer generally to the idea of a road where there are no street lights and drivers could drive at higher speeds compared to residential neighborhoods and city streets. Usually, many people prefer driving on highways and freeways over streets and neighborhoods since they can get from one point to another in a short amount of time.

In California, there are both highways and freeways. If you are planning on taking a road trip anytime soon, you may find yourself using both a highway and a freeway to get to your destination. Several people use the words highway and freeway interchangeably, but there are some key differences.

When filing a lawsuit against an at-fault party, or filing an insurance claim, it is very important to explain everything accurately. This means the more details you have describing the event and how the accident occurred, the more likely you will have a stronger case. That is why our attorneys highly recommend that you speak to our accident lawyers immediately after you have been involved in any type of accident. The words that you use to describe your accident will be used in court if you are filing a lawsuit, or with your insurance company when your insurance adjuster is investigating the accident. That’s why the way that you describe the accident could essentially strengthen or weaken your case.

What is a highway?

  • Similar to freeways, highways are areas where higher speeds are allowed compared to other neighborhoods and side streets. A highway has lanes that are a lot wider, in order to prevent a traffic build-up, and to allow all several different types of vehicles access to the highways. But highways may have stop lights, pedestrian lanes, bike lanes, and even traffic going across the highway.

  • Highways are more likely to be found in rural areas compared to more urban city areas. The highway is considered to be a broader term used to refer to freeways. Usually, a highway has one direction of traffic.

  • A highway is usually intended for travel within the city.

What is a freeway?

  • A freeway is also an area where drivers can drive at high rates of speed, but have uncontrolled traffic. This means that there are no traffic lights, pedestrian walkways, or bike lanes. A freeway is specifically devoted to vehicles. It is illegal for pedestrians or bicyclists to drive on freeways in California. The number one reason for this is to prevent any severe accidents since freeways do not have any lights or do not come to a complete stop at any point. Freeways also are known to have exit ramps and entrances.

  • Trucks and larger vehicles are more likely to drive on a freeway compared to a highway. Since freeways do not have traffic lights and controls, the drivers are able to get from one point to another fairly quickly compared to highways. Major cities, such as Los Angeles and Las Vegas have freeways.

  • Freeways are known to connect many major cities with one another, that is why it is especially attractive to truck drivers. This also increases the likelihood of truck accidents Truck accidents could cause very severe injuries, and those injuries could rack up thousands of dollars in medical care and bills.

A freeway is considered to be a highway, but a highway is not always a freeway. A highway is considered to be any road that is wider and allows for larger vehicles. A freeway is not only designed for larger vehicles, such as trucks, but also is absent of any street signs and lights to ensure drivers get to a certain point in a short time.

What are the different types of accidents that occur on highways and freeways?

Drunk driving accidents are common on both highways and freeways. On a freeway, drunk drivers may not be able to come to a complete stop, and may change their lane abruptly. On a highway, a drunk driver may not be able to see traffic lights and pedestrian lanes.

What are the dangers of driving on a freeway or highway?
  • Vehicles may speed higher than what is allowed, especially when there is no traffic. Speeding accidents are more likely to occur during late-night hours or early mornings.
  • Poor road conditions: highways and freeways must be maintained to prevent poor road conditions and accidents.
How to prevent freeway and highway accidents?

Although an accident cannot be completely prevented, there are some steps you can take to decrease the likelihood of getting involved in an accident. These steps include:

  • Always make sure that you drive in areas where you have driven before. Inexperienced driving is the number one cause of accidents on highways and freeways.

  • Always wear your seatbelt while driving. Seat belts will hold you back in the case of an abrupt collision, and prevent any severe injuries.

  • Do not drive at night. Driving at night has a very high likelihood of leading to severe accidents and injuries. If you have the option to drive at night or during the day, we suggest driving during the daytime hours.

  • Make sure that the passengers in your car are not distracting. Usually, passengers may see a thing or two, which may require the driver to turn back and away from the road. This could be very dangerous and could result in severe accidents.

  • Never use your cell phone while driving. Talking while driving, or texting while driving is two very dangerous habits. If you are to use a cell phone, make sure that you pull over in a safe area on the highway or freeway.

  • Always drive slowly during poor weather conditions. Rainy days could lead to several different car accidents on the road. Make sure that you properly drive during this time.

Call our car accident attorneys if you have been involved in an accident with another negligent driver. In California, whether you are driving on a highway or a freeway, you have the duty to drive in a reasonably safe manner and to prevent any accidents. That is why if a driver violates their duty, they most likely will be held responsible for causing the accident.

Give our car accident attorneys a call today to discuss your specific accident case. We make sure that our clients get the one-on-one attention they deserve. We will sit with you throughout the initial consultation to make sure we have all the details of your accident accurate. We take the time to care for our clients.

Reach out to our experienced legal team today to see the next best steps to take for your highway accident lawsuit. We prioritize our clients’ needs, especially their right to get compensated for their injuries. Your injuries may include a variety of damages, including your medical costs, your lost wages, your emotional suffering, and any other

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