What Is the Difference Between Interstate & Intrastate Highways?

Difference Between Types of Highways

"Interstate" and "Intrastate" are important to distinguish from one another not only because they are different, but because they carry out distinctly different functions. Interstate refers to a network of freeways and highways that cross over state lines. Interstates are part of the national highway system that was formulated by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1956. Intrastate highways do not cross state lines.

You can what type of highway you're on using the following clues:

  • On interstates, you'll see a sign with "Interstate" and a number. This means you're on a U.S. highway.
  • If you are traveling on an intrastate, then you will see "State Highway" followed by the number.

Role of Highways in the Commercial Driving Industry

When it comes to the trucking industry, the distinction between interstate and intrastate is important. The distinction between interstate and intrastate is important for the trucking industry, as well as for commercial drivers. One of the primary reasons is because commercial drivers must be licensed differently. There are also insurance issues that trucking companies face if they allow an intrastate driver to take a load across a state line. If an intrastate driver gets into an accident in another state, then the penalties are serious for the trucking company. An insurance carrier may refuse to pay for a claim since the driver was not operating in their designated state. If this happens, a person may sustain significant financial losses because of a messy insurance scenario.

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