Illustration for article titled Ten Simple Ways To Make Highway Driving Less Awful

A long trip on a boring highway is the last thing you want to do with your car, but these ten improvements could make the drive more exciting and much safer.


10.) Add more turns

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Driving in a straight line for hours is the most boring thing you can do in a car. stoke says the Midwest is the worst:

I grew up in Rochester and moved to Chicago after college for a job. Your definition of soul-killing boredom changes dramatically when you're a road rep in the Midwest. I would rather drive the Thruway end to end every day for a month than do Chicago to Omaha and back just one more time.

Suggested By: Marimvibe can't post past the social website, Photo Credit: loop_oh

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9.) Lose the speed traps

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If there's one place you don't need the fuzz, it's the highway says Bullit417:

Part of the problem with commuting is people on the highway checking up when they get to known cop hangouts. This causes the chain reaction of cars slowing down and accelerating, swerving because they weren't paying attention etc all around the same area. If there was no fear of getting a ticket for doing 70ish, you may get a steadier flow of traffic.

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Suggested By: Bullitt417, Photo Credit:Dushan and Miae


8.) Get rid of speed limits

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We spend billions on building and maintaining a high-speed road network. The Germans do the same but they also dare to use it as it's intended.

If it's wide enough, doesn't go through a city and the road quality allows it, you should be able to go as fast as conditions allow.

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Suggested By: DennyCrane, Photo Credit: Getty Images

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7.)Get rid of cutting in

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Frankenbike666 points out an issue in connection with the flow of traffic:

You can't do much about the cloverleaf on/offramps where people can enter the freeway from either direction of the street with a right turn, and can get off on either direction of the street. You can't fix that without adding a bridge, and government doesn't want to spend the extra million or so that costs, for each direction.

But those clusterfucks where there's an onramp just before a major interchange, could be fixed. Make them "interchange only onramps". Put up a K-Rail that stops them from being able to cut across 2 or 3 lanes of traffic to go "straight". Make them get on an upstream onramp.

Also, K-Rail all interchanges back no less than 1 mile, so no one can cut in at the last minute. That would end 90% of what clogs a freeway.

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Suggested By: Frankenbike666, Photo Credit: AP Images


6.) Buy a Bentley Speed

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Trouble stays outside driving one of these.

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Suggested By: Milky, Photo Credit: AlBargan

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5.) Get good food along the road

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We know a few good places, but there should be more. If the food is better, you're more likely to stop and rest, and less likely to crash. Win-win.

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Suggested By: Green Pig, Photo Credit: mava

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4.) Start semi-autonomous road trains

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If you don't want to leave everything to computers, road trains could be a great solution. You go on the highway, leave everything to the system, than drive away when you reach your exit. The best cruise control ever.

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Suggested By: JayBe_III, Photo Credit: Volvo

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3.) Introduce completely self-driving cars

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Computers are fine with a long and boring drive. And there's more as User1312 explains:

Missed exits, bad merging, lane-hogging; these would all disappear. You could arrive at work half an hour later and leave half an hour earlier (working from car), you'd be more efficient. Traffic would be better. Pollution would be decreased, energy conserved...

If you could buy an extremely efficient, self-driving car for M-F, and a sports car for the weekend, isn't that the best of both worlds? Better yet, if all those people that have zero interest in driving could buy self-driving cars, how fantastic would that be?!

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Suggested By: User1312, Photo Credit: Getty Images


2.) Fix the worst road designs

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It's not just road maintenance that needs to be improved, but the engineering and construction itself. Duckferd:

America's interstates are festooned with bad engineering and worse maintenance. Haphazardly placed exits, entrances, ramps etc. on both left and right lanes with basically no opportunity to merge unless you floor it and cut someone off like an asshole (leading to a chain of cars braking and starting the downward spiral to a traffic jam); potholes everywhere, improper drainage and sometimes no shoulder at all. The lanes are sometimes narrow too.

Contrast this to the Autobahn, Autostrada, Autoroute, or even Ontario's Highway 407. Wide lanes, good sightlines, tons of room to merge and exit safely. All of this leads to better flowing traffic.

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Suggested By: Duckferd, Photo Credit: cerealbawx


1.) Punish the left lane hogs

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Seriously. A massive fine for those going slow in the left lane would make highways nice again.

Suggested By: Patrick George, Photo Credit: AP Images

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Welcome back to Answers of the Day - our daily Jalopnik feature where we take the best ten responses from the previous day's Question of the Day and shine it up to show off. It's by you and for you, the Jalopnik readers. Enjoy!

Top Photo Credit: dherrera_96

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