The Difference Between A Highway And A Freeway


difference between highway and freeway

You may have seen these terms used interchangeably, but there is actually a difference between highways and freeways. Highways are any public road that is open to vehicular traffic, while freeways are a type of highway that is limited-access with high-speed potential. In this article, we’ll explore the differences between these two types of roadways so that you can be a more informed driver!

What is the difference between a highway and a freeway?

A highway is a public road that is designed for travel by motor vehicles. A freeway is a type of highway that has multiple lanes and is designed for high-speed travel.

The history of highways and freeways in the United States

The United States has a long history of highways and freeways. The first highways in the country were built in the early 1900s, and they were designed to connect cities and towns. These early highways were mostly two-lane roads, and they were not always well maintained. In the 1920s, the federal government began to get involved in highway construction, and they began to build a network of national highways. This network was known as the Interstate Highway System, and it was designed to connect all of the major cities in the country. The Interstate Highway System was completed in the 1960s, and it made travel between cities much easier and faster.

In the 1970s, the federal government also began to build a system of freeways. These freeways were designed for long-distance travel, and they had multiple lanes in each direction. Freeways are typically wider than highways, and they have a limited number of exits and entrances. This makes them safer and easier to navigate than highways.

The difference between highways and freeways is that highways are designed for local travel, while freeways are designed for long-distance travel. Both types of roads are important parts of the United States transportation system, and they both play a vital

The difference between highways and freeways in other countries

When traveling in other countries, it’s important to be aware of the difference between highways and freeways. In the United States, these terms are used interchangeably, but in other parts of the world, there is a distinct difference.

Highways are typically lower-speed roads that are suitable for all types of vehicles. They often have multiple lanes in each direction and may or may not have a divided median. Freeways, on the other hand, are high-speed roads that are limited to cars and other light vehicles. They always have a divided median and usually have multiple lanes in each direction.

In some countries, such as Australia, the term “freeway” is used to refer to any multi-lane divided highway, regardless of speed limit. So, if you’re planning a road trip Down Under, be sure to double-check the definition of freeway before getting behind the wheel!

Why are there different types of roads?

We all use roads everyday to get from one place to another. But have you ever wondered why there are different types of roads? Highway, freeway, parkway… what’s the difference?

Well, it turns out that there is a difference – and it’s not just in the name. Highways, freeways, and parkways are actually classified according to their intended use and design. Here’s a quick breakdown of the differences:

Highway: A highway is a public road that is open to traffic. It is usually divided into multiple lanes so that vehicles can travel in both directions at the same time.

Freeway: A freeway is a controlled-access highway, which means that it is designed for high-speed travel. It has multiple lanes and is typically free of any cross traffic or intersections.

Parkway: A parkway is a road that is designed for leisurely travel. It often has scenic views and is often located in parks or other natural areas.

How to choose the right road for your trip

When planning a road trip, you may be wondering what the difference is between a highway and a freeway. Here’s a quick rundown of the two types of roads:

Highways are multi-lane roads that typically have a posted speed limit of 55 mph or higher. They may have some access points for side streets and driveways, but these are usually limited.

Freeways are similar to highways, but they have fewer access points and a higher posted speed limit, often 70 mph or higher. They also typically have multiple lanes in each direction.


In conclusion, the main difference between a highway and a freeway is that highways are typically multi-lane roads with two-way traffic, while freeways are usually divided highways with high-speed traffic and limited access. Highways tend to be more congested than freeways, but they also offer more options for stops and exits.