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LANE ETIQUETTE: HOW TO DRIVE ON THE N1

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The N1 is a highway that connects Ghana to Togo in the east and Ivory Coast in the west. Running by the coast, the highway connects the respective border towns of Aflao and Elubo and several towns and cities along its 540km stretch.

 

HOW A HIGHWAY IS SET UP

Highways are major roads that connect large towns and cities. They are carriageways with multiple lanes in each direction. Slip roads along the outermost strip allow traffic in and out of highways.

The N1 is Ghana’s stretch of Route 7 or Trans-West African Coastal Highway. Route 7 is an ambitious project to connect Mauritania to Nigeria, linking 12 West African countries. 

Certain portions of Ghana’s N1 highway, like the Tema Motorway, are barred to bicycles, pedestrians, and small motorcycles. Since all toll booths closed, the N1 is now freely accessible for its entire stretch.

 

7 TIPS ON HOW TO DRIVE ON THE N1 HIGHWAY

Here are safety tips on how to drive on the N1 highway.

 

CHECK YOUR CAR

Make sure to use vehicles cleared to run on the N1. Ensure your vehicle is roadworthy, has the correct tyre pressure, and has enough fuel. You don’t want your car breaking down in the middle of the Accra-Tema motorway portion of the N1.

 

STAY IN YOUR LANE

The acceleration (leftmost) or inside lane is for overtaking only. Once you pass a slower vehicle, move back into the middle lane using your mirror and the right trafficator signals. Do not overtake on the outside right lane. It is the slowest lane and allows cars to exit or enter the N1 via slip roads. 

 

DO NOT DRIVE ON THE SHOULDER OF THE N1

The shoulders of the N1 are for police cars or vehicles that have broken down. You could run into parked vehicles if you drive down the shoulder of the highway.

 

MAINTAIN A SAFE DISTANCE

When driving at 80km/h, ensure a minimum distance of at least 80m between you and the car in front of you. Maintain a longer distance on wet roads or if your tires are old. Beware of pedestrians and animals where the N1 drives through busy towns.

 

RESPECT ROAD SIGNS

Pay attention to road signs along the N1. Do not overtake over a solid lane marking or double unbroken yellow lines.

 

RESPECT SPEED LIMITS

Speed limits protect you and other road users along the highway. N1 speed limits range from 70-100km/h. When driving through busy towns like Dzorwulu and Lapaz, drive carefully and lookout for pedestrians, animals, and slower road users.

 

DO NOT STOP OR PARK ON THE N1

In the event of a breakdown, use the correct trafficator signals to indicate you want to leave the lane/road. Once on the kerb, place a triangle at least 50 yards behind your car to alert other road users you have a problem.

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