When You Exit an Uncontrolled Access Highway

Last Edited: November 11, 2016 // by TruckerScape, Inc.

Minor and back highways (with one lane in each direction, typically with no median separating the lanes and with surface street and/or driveway entries and exits) are often just a means for me to connect from one interstate or major highway to another.  On a few trips they serve as the most direct and cost-effective routes to a pickup or delivery destination.  I don’t drive on two-lane highways, even on national (US-XXX) highways any more than necessary and/or practical.

Partly because I drive on them less frequently and partly due to generally slower traffic speeds, I have experienced fewer problems with personal vehicle exits from minor and back highways.  Most drivers on these highways seem aware of the need for early signaling to avoid surprising drivers behind them.  This is especially important when slowing down or even stopping for a break in oncoming traffic to make a left turn.

Many of these drivers live in towns and homes along the highways.  Local senior drivers in particular may travel at conservative speeds and slow down well before their exits, especially onto home driveways.  This can aggravate drivers behind them.

So long as you signal well before lawfully exiting onto a surface street or driveway, your safety is the responsibility of drivers behind you.  However, it’s still a good idea to be on guard for aggressive drivers who may pass you unsafely before you make your turn, even before a left turn.  When there is a safe break in oncoming traffic, some drivers will helpfully move to the left lane on the approach to a left turn.  This lets trailing drivers get by them at greater than exit speed.

With my truck’s acceleration and speed limitations, I am frequently unable to pass slower drivers safely and my truck becomes another obstacle for aggressive drivers to punch past.  Remember, if you’re caught behind my truck, patience will never fail you.

Takeaways

On minor and back highways (with one lane in each direction, typically with no median separating the lanes and with surface street and/or driveway entries and exits), signal well before exiting.

While signaling for an exit, stay vigilant for aggressive drivers who pass you before your turn.

Stay patient behind slow personal vehicles and trucks until you find a safe place to pass.

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