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Driving on interstates requires knowledge and patience

On Behalf of | Feb 26, 2024 | Blog |

If you have driven through Oregon, you are likely aware that the interstate highways here are convenient, well-traveled routes that connect various cities throughout the state. These interstates are a vital part of the transportation network and travelers heavily utilize them, so driving on these highways can be quite overwhelming, especially for new drivers. Interstate highways differ from other types of roadways, and safety begins with understanding their design of use. 

Interstates not only have entry and exit ramps, multiple travel lanes and higher speed limits, but they often see high volumes of traffic. Navigating congestion and unpredictable movements of vehicles is daunting even if you are an experienced driver. Since traffic moves at higher speeds on interstates, many accidents are more likely to be serious or fatal. Here are a few things to keep in mind to help you arrive safely to your destination when you’re behind the wheel on an interstate. 


To enter an interstate highway, you will need to utilize an entrance ramp and merge left into the right travel lane. To do this safely, turn on your left signal, accelerate to a speed that is close to the flow of traffic on the roadway, glance over your shoulder and check your sideview mirrors to look for an opening in traffic. Once it is clear, merge left onto the highway. 

Obey the speed limit 

This should go without saying, but far too many people speed on interstates. Speeding is one of the leading causes of accidents on all types of roadways. Drive at a safe speed according to the speed limit, road conditions and flow of traffic. 

Drive in the far-right lane 

On interstates, the far-left lanes are the “passing lanes” and are typically for faster moving traffic. The far-right lanes are for slower traffic. Always drive in the right lanes unless you are passing or allowing entering vehicles to merge. Never cruise or drive slow in the left lane, as this may impede the flow of traffic and could potentially cause an accident. 

Make safe passes 

If you need to pass another vehicle, always do so on the left, and never attempt to pass on the right of another vehicle. Remember to use your turn signal to let other drivers know your intentions. Before changing lanes, use your mirrors and glance over your left shoulder to check your blind spots. 

The aftermath of an accident 

If you feel intimidated when driving on interstates, you are not alone. Just remember, since traffic moves faster on interstates, these highways require a higher level of driver awareness, so stay focused and drive defensively. Yet, on any roadway, you could do everything right and still be involved in an accident. If you suffer injuries or loss in a car accident caused by the negligence of another party, you have the right to speak with a legal professional about your options for recourse. 

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