For many young drivers, the interstate feels more dangerous than a traditional, two-lane road. Everything moves quickly, they have brand new skills to learn regarding merging and ramps and they feel like an accident on an interstate would result in greater injuries.
However, the reality is that the interstate, according to highway engineers, is far safer than older, two-lane roads. The system was specifically designed to be as safe as possible.
For one thing, interstates do not allow traffic to share the road while heading in opposite directions. Wide medians and guardrails are used to keep traffic separated. This vastly reduces the odds of a head-on collision, one of the most dangerous types of crashes in which anyone can ever get involved.
The interstate also has generally consistent speeds and gentle curves. This makes it far easier to stay in control of the vehicle. Nothing unexpected happens. Drivers make fewer mistakes.
Finally, the interstate does not have intersections. These are highly dangerous, as even a simple mistake can lead to a deadly crash. The interstate strictly controls all traffic coming on and off. While accidents may happen at ramps, they are less likely and the cars that collide are at least heading in the same direction. This can reduce the force of the impact.
While interstates are safe, mistakes and negligence can cause accidents. Perhaps the worst are wrong-way accidents. When someone gets on the interstate going the wrong direction, they eliminate all of those safety features and put everyone at risk.
If you get hurt in an accident, make sure you know if you have a right to compensation.