The Importance of Mile Markers

You may know that mile markers, or mileposts, alert drivers of their location along an interstate or highway, but did you know about the other functions they serve?

Mile markers are used to indicate the distance traveled within a state and the distance to a destination, such as a city or a town. The mileage begins at the state line and increases from south to north for north-south highways and from west to east for east-west highways. This system not only designates the distance of travel, but it also indicates the direction of travel.

Increasing mileage reflects northerly or easterly travel, and decreasing mileage reflects southerly or westerly travel. Sometimes the distance to a destination, like a city, is measured to a zero-mile marker and mileage is measured to that point.

In most states, mile markers help drivers to anticipate the distance to their desired exit. Exits in these states are numbered according to mileage, so Exit 5 would occur near Mile 5. Markers also aid emergency personnel when responding to emergencies by providing a reference point close to an accident or point of need.

As you travel along an interstate or highway, pay attention to these helpful traveler’s aids, and remember that mile markers are more than just numbers along a route. They can help you know your direction of travel, your location along a route, and the distance to your next exit or destination. Also, if you encounter trouble along the way, a mile marker can help emergency personnel find you.