Highways are large main roads with four or more total lanes, encircling or connecting cities in various GTA games. They become particularly relevant in the large-scale multiple-city game, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. While many highways remain unnamed, some are given specific designations, such as in GTA San Andreas.
In general, highways are interconnected, and provide smooth transitions from one region of the map to another without stopping. However, some highways are limited in their service and in the intersections they make with other major roads, and may not provide a more rapid alternative to smaller roads. Main local arteries are generally easier and more direct for in-city travel, but highways are quicker for inter-city travel.
Most highways provide a much more rapid pace and more lanes than small roads, allowing for greater speeds and more room for maneuvering. However, in the 3D Universe, especially GTA San Andreas cars often switch lanes quickly without notice, and this can present a hazard for the player if traveling at high speeds, Almost any crash on a highway will cause cars to crash into the rear of the stopped vehicles, and particularly in GTA San Andreas this can trigger a chain reaction of explosions, especially in Las Venturas, where cars reach extreme speeds close to 150 km/h due to the fact that the highways there consist of long straight stretches. This also poses a high risk of being rear-ended.
Another hazard is that one will often times come across slower moving vehicles in certain places. These vehicles include the the Tractor, Freeway, Sanchez, and other motorcycles. Also, the highways max speed periodically changes without notice on most Highways and the the other cars will slow down usually causing an unaware player to rear end them. Sometimes, the driver in the car you hit will get out and start attacking you or your vehicle with a Shovel, Baseball Bat, Golf Club, or simply bare-handed.
Grand Theft Auto V
The highway system in Grand Theft Auto V is most likely based on the real life US Interstate system, featuring real life highways such as Interstate 2. Grand Theft Auto V will also be the first GTA game with highways containing more than four-lanes, as seen in several screenshots, 8-lane highways can be seen in highly commuted parts of Los Santos.
Named highways and routes
San Andreas ( GTA SA )
Main article: San Andreas Highway System
- Los Santos Freeway (A looped highway that travels through Los Santos and Red County)
- Julius Thruway (A highway encircling Las Venturas)
- Harry Gold Parkway (A major road connecting the Los Santos Freeway to Julius Thruway North via the middle of Las Venturas)
- San Fierro Highway (From Rodeo to San Fierro via the edge of Flint county and western Whetstone)
- Las Venturas Highway (From Las Venturas to San Fierro via Tierra Robada and Bayside)
- San Fierro Bypass (From Foster Valley to Tierra Robada through San Fierro)
- East Beach Freeway Extension (The freeway extension connecting the Los Santos Freeway to the stadium, via Ganton)
- Santa Maria Freeway Extension (Another freeway extension, connecting the Los Santos Freeway (airport section) to the beach)
San Andreas ( GTA V )
- Vice City has the least amount of highways for any GTA city, with only Bayshore Avenue as considered a highway.
- Liberty City is the city with most highways in the 3D Universe.
- Grand Theft Auto V will be the first GTA game after the 2D Universe to contain four or more lanes on highways, but however, four lanes as one-ways was already frequent in GTA IV, as seen in Star Junction.