Freeway vs. Highway

The main difference between freeway and highway is that freeway is part of the highway with multiple lanes. on the other hand, highway is more generally a wider road using connecting multiple cities. Highways have tolls, traffic signals and intersections or cross streets but a freeway has no trolls and designed as exclusively for high-speed vehicular traffic. Freeway has no tolls and no traffic signals and intersections. One of the main difference is seen is that highways are pass-through crowded places while freeway is pass through the less crowded places.

Comparison Chart

Basis Freeway Highway
Traffic signal There are no traffic signals in the freeway. There are traffic signals in the highway.
Lane There are 4 to 6 number of the lane in the freeway. There are 2 to 3 number of the lane in the highway.
Tolls No tolls in freeways because the freeway is part of the highway. In highways, you have to pay at tolls. There is toll booth to pay some amount as a tax.
Operated by It is operated by federal government. It is operated by State government.
Speed limits Freeway is a fast road with no stops typically spans many states with a high-speed limit around 60-70 mph. High way is a large road, usually going through urban areas with a speed limit around 40- 50 mph.
Access Ramp only. Ramp or intersection.

What is Freeway?

Freeways are mostly found in big cities and highly inhabited areas. A freeway is a controlled-access highway. It is a major road with several lanes.  Freeways are built for fast travel over a long distance.  It is a major road and can use without a toll tax. A freeway is a multiple-lane divided highway with fully controlled access. There is no traffic signals or zebra crossing or intersection in the freeway. The opposite direction in freeways is separated through medians like a strip of grass, clouds or traffic barriers.

Freeway vs. Highway

Freeway is separated by the rest of the traffic and allowed to enter by ramps. This ramp allows speed control. This ramp allows changing in speed between the freeway and other collector roads. A freeway is part of highways with 2 or more lanes in each side. Freeways sometimes can be an interstate highway. A freeway is a motorway without toll that’s why it is called freeway.

What is a Highway?

A highway is a road which we can say public road or private or any other public way on land. It is used for a major road but also connected with many public or private roads. High ways may or may not be restricted access travel ways or may include tolls. The toll is simply a plaza where taxes from automobiles are collected for the construction or maintenance of highway roads. Tolls are often collected through the toll booth, toll stations, toll houses etc.

highway road

Vehicles and traffic laws define highway as the entire width between the lines of every way publicly maintained when any part thereof is open to the use of the public for purposes of vehicular travel.”

Key Differences between Freeway and Highway

The key differences between Highway and Freeway are given below:

  1. All freeway is a highway, but no every highway is a freeway.
  2. The highway has tolls and signals or it is a large or wide road although freeway is a fast road without any signal or tolls.
  3. Highways are on crowded areas mostly in urban areas while fast road freeway is where there is no much crowd at all.
  4. The highway is a road which connects people who want a long-distance driving usually use freeway as fast track because of the high-speed limit and highway have signals and zebra crossings so maximum speed is 50-60.
  5. The highway is operated by the state government. On the other hand, a freeway is operated by the federal government.
  6. Freeway has a 4-6 number of lanes. While the highway has an only 2-3 number of lanes.

Comparison Video


All freeway is a highway but not every highway is a freeway because the freeway is a part of the highway. Freeway is a controlled-access highway which is mainly designed for high-speed vehicular with 5-6 lanes and no traffic signals or intersections. The difference in both is just like they both have their own specifications when people use in their daily life they came to know about the real meaning of highway and freeway they both have some rule and different regulations to use. Follow up the roles when used. However, highways have spotlight or paediatricians crossing which means there is houses or businesses and freeway will have enter/exit ramps and no spotlights.

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