Is there any difference between the interstate and highway? Let’s find out!

While the difference between an interstate and a highway may be slight, there is still a difference between the two. All interstates are highways, but believe it or not, not all highways are interstates. We know it can be confusing, but don’t worry, as we’re going to break it all down for you.

Regardless of why you’re driving, highways form a significant part of your life. The National Highway System (NHS) covers more than 160,000 miles of America. So let’s get into and see what the difference is between an interstate and a highway.

So, What Is A Highway?

Throughout the world and in the United States, highways are roadways with a higher speed limit than other roads. Highways are typically wider and have more lanes, but that doesn’t mean they have more than two lanes. Highways are also usually wider than an interstate, but not always.

What Is An Interstate?

An interstate is typically defined as a divided highway that has complete control of access for all vehicles. Interstates are designed for highspeed vehicle traffic with limited traffic control, such as traffic lights, crossings, intersections, or any other impediments. This is to allow vehicles to travel across the country without having constant interruptions to the flow of traffic.

Interstates typically connect major cities nationwide to provide interstate traffic such as shipping, trucking, or long-distance transportation with ideal road conditions. Entry and exit ramps allow vehicles to enter the interstate, while overpasses and underpasses allow other traffic to cross the interstate without impeding travel.

Highway Versus Interstate

The most significant difference between highways and interstates is that interstates have very limited or controlled access and exit points. As a driver, you can only get onto the interstate via the designated ramps or entry points. Also, speed limits on interstates are typically set higher so as to allow traffic to move faster.

Another aspect of interstates is that they often have both rest areas, as well as retailers, to buy food and gas so that drivers don’t have to exit the interstate and get back on.

The right lane of the interstate is typically used for exiting and entering the interstate when it has three lanes. The left lane is for passing, and the middle lane of the interstate is for drivers that aren’t passing or exiting the interstate. In peak areas or built-up areas around cities, interstates often have more than three lanes per direction.

When You Need A Tow

There you go! Everything you wanted to know about the difference between an interstate and a highway. While the difference between the two may seem insignificant, interstates are like the arteries of the United States. They allow fast and smooth flow between significant transportation hubs across the country to ensure that goods such as food, medicine, and all other products reach their destinations in a timely manner.

If you have been involved in any automotive accident in Eagle County or Summit County, Colorado, on the interstate or highway, Mountain Recovery is only a phone call away at 970-476-1124. We operate 24/7, 365 days a year, to keep you moving and help get your vehicle back on the road.