This topic is for all my students who are taking their Class 5 road test. Of course, the skill isn’t only limited to them but their road test will consist of the highway component.
The basic highway will consist of three sections: the acceleration lane, the highway and the exit lane.
When you are on the entrance ramp, make an effort to scan the highway to see the volume of traffic. As you are in the acceleration lane, do at least 3 shoulder checks. Your first one is done when you signal. The second shoulder check is done to identify a safe gap in traffic. The third shoulder check is done to confirm the safe gap and merge.
Make sure you use the acceleration lane to get your speed up and match the speed of the traffic on the highway. I typically recommend going between 70 km/h to 80 km/h.
If there is a large volume of cars in the acceleration lane, then adjust your speed accordingly. If the car in front of you is going 40 km/h, for instance, then don’t speed up to 80 km/h. As always, work closely with your driving instructor or supervisor to learn how to appropriately adjust your speed to merge in as safely as possible.
The merging area of the acceleration lane is divided up with a solid white line. This means you aren’t allow to merge in until the lines becomes broken or perforated.
Once you are on the highway, you can safely assume the speed limit to be 80 km/h unless a sign tells you otherwise. The speed limit is a maximum and not a minimum, which means you need to drive safely according to conditions.
Typically slower traffic should stay in the right lane. Leave the left lane open for faster traffic or people who want to pass.
Exiting the highway
When you are ready to exit the highway, be sure to signal your intention well in advance so people behind you know that you want to exit.
Try your best to maintain your speed until you enter the exit lane. You want to do this because you dont want to hold up traffic that is still going straight behind you. When you are in the exit lane, gradually reduce your speed to recommended speed that is posted in the exit lane. This is how they look like:
Highway courtesy or etiquette:
If you are on the far right lane and you see cars in the acceleration lane getting ready to match speed and enter the highway, pull over into the left lane if safe and possible. This will give those who are trying to enter an easier gap to merge into the highway.
Sometimes you won’t be able to move over. At that point you should adjust your speed to allow cars to merge in safely in front or behind you.
Highway can be very intimating if you don’t know what you’re doing, Make sure you work with your instructor to gain the necessary skills and confidence to handle it.