Chess Blog

About America’s Interstate Highways

If you're relocating to the U.S., there will be a virtually endless number of places that you can visit both in your new state and outside of it. The United States has more than 4 million miles of road that connects its cities and rural areas, and if you'll be travelling for business or pleasure, understanding the American highway system can help you get to where you're going safely and easily.

Interstate Highways

Nearly all large, multi-lane roads that travel across state lines are called "interstates". You may also sometimes hear these roads referred to as "freeways" or "expressways." The interstates are typically the fastest way to get between two places.

Interstate Numbering

Understanding the way major highways are numbered can help make it easier for you to navigate the U.S. Interstate system.


  • Even numbers indicate that a highway runs east-west
  • Odd numbers indicate that a highway runs north-south
  • One and two-digit numbers are used for major direct routes
  • Three digit numbers are used for arteries or roads that connect interstates, and are typically used to navigate major cities


Using the Interstate

Interstate highways are accessed and exited via ramps. All ramps are assigned a number, and signs are used to display the exit numbers, the names of major towns and the numbers of the connecting roads found at the exits. Along many interstates, you'll find rest stops with bathrooms and food, such as vending machines or restaurants. These facilities allow you to take a rest break without having to exit the interstate.

Interstate Rules

The rules for driving on highways vary from state to state, even if you're traveling on the same road. Speed limits range from 50 to 75 miles per hour and will be marked on signs along the right-hand side of the road.

Most interstates are at least two lanes wide, and many have three lanes. The left-hand lane is always reserved for passing traffic, while slow-moving vehicles should use the right-hand side. Each state has its own safety laws, but it's a good idea to wear your seat belt no matter where you're traveling.

If you're preparing for a move to the U.S., Chess Moving can help you import your car, so that you can use it explore America's highways.



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