Many drivers believe that freeways and dual carriageways are the same type of road. In fact, it is common to use both terms as if they were synonymous.
However, There are important differences between motorways and dual carriageways. It is important to know the characteristics of both well so that your way of driving adapts to each of them.
For example, between motorways and expressways there are differences in terms of the length of the road, the speed at which you can drive or the tolls.
If you know the details of each of them, you will have more security when using the car, and you can even save money by avoiding unnecessary tolls.
To understand it, you must first know what is a highway and what is a dual carriageway. Subsequently, the differences between the two are explained.
What is a highway?
Highways are roads that have been designed for the circulation of motor cars. That is, they cannot drive bicycles or other similar means of transport on them.
these roads have 4 or more lanes per direction of travel They are separated by a central median. On highways they cannot cross train tracks, trams or pedestrian crossings.
The purpose of a motorway is to allow a high volume of traffic at high speed, guaranteeing certain safety conditions.
What is a highway?
A highway is a high-capacity road that does not meet the characteristics of a highway.
These roads have 2 lanes in each direction and limited access. There are on and off ramps, as well as acceleration and deceleration lanes.
Another relevant aspect is that they have rest areas that are sometimes equipped with services such as.
Difference Between Motorway and Expressway
Taking both definitions into account, surely you have already noticed several of the differences between motorways and dual carriageways.
However, there are many other elements that are different and you should be aware of:
- Lanes: both have access lanes that allow you to enter the highway at a safe speed, however, those on the motorway are longer than those on the highways.
- Speed: Highways are designed so that drivers can travel at a certain speed throughout the journey, while highways may vary depending on the state of the road or other circumstances.
- tolls: the highways are publicly managed and as a general rule you do not have to pay to drive on them (although some highways will be paid in 2024); the highways are privately managed, so you have to pay the toll.
- Urban cores: highways can pass through urban centers, and in these cases speed must be reduced; On highways this does not happen.
- Users: Cyclists over 14 years of age can ride on highways, as long as they stay on the shoulder, although this is not always allowed; Motorized vehicles can only circulate on highways.
Both highways and highways have similarities to highlight. For example, the maximum speed is 120 kilometers per hour and the minimum 60 kilometers per hour. In addition, they do not have level crossings since they have their own entrances and exits.
[Fuentes: Mapfre, Allianz]