Street Survival - Advanced Defensive Driving

DANGERS > LANE > MERGE

Merge

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Here we identify the pain points where two lanes merge into one and best practices for merging.

Remember, merging requires patience, awareness, and good communication with other drivers. By following these tips, you can safely learn how to merge while driving in a smooth manner with other traffic.

💡 Tips:

? Questions:

Dangers Lane Merge

💡 Tips for merging with other traffic

  • Use your turn signal to indicate your intention to merge. This alerts other drivers that you want to change lanes and gives them time to adjust their speed or position.

  • Check your mirrors and blind spots before merging. Look over your shoulder to make sure there are no vehicles in your blind spot that could be in the way when you merge.

  • Adjust your speed to match the flow of traffic before you merge. You want to merge smoothly without causing other drivers to brake or swerve.

  • Try to find a gap in traffic to merge into. Look for an opening in the next lane and merge when it is safe to do so.

  • Avoid merging at the last minute or cutting off other drivers. Merge in a timely manner and be courteous to other drivers.

  • Use the zipper merge technique when merging into a lane with heavy traffic. This means taking turns with other drivers to merge into the lane, like the teeth of a zipper.

  • Be aware of the length of your vehicle when merging. If you are driving a long vehicle such as a trailer truck, you may need to swing wide to merge safely.

Does merging traffic have right of way?

In general, merging traffic does not have the right of way over the traffic already on the main roadway. The traffic already on the main roadway has the right of way, and it is the responsibility of the merging vehicles to yield and safely merge into the flow of traffic.

When entering an expressway or highway using an entrance ramp, drivers must yield to the vehicles already on the main roadway. They should look for gaps in traffic, adjust their speed to match the flow, and merge safely without disrupting the flow of traffic.

It's important for both the merging vehicles and the traffic on the main roadway to be aware of each other and make adjustments to ensure a smooth merging process. Drivers on the main roadway should be cautious and considerate, allowing merging vehicles to enter the traffic flow when it is safe to do so.

It's worth noting that traffic laws and regulations can vary by jurisdiction, so it's always a good idea to familiarize yourself with the specific rules and regulations in your area.

Do you have to let merging traffic in?

Yes, it is generally expected and recommended for drivers on the main roadway to allow merging traffic to enter when it is safe to do so. While merging traffic does not have the automatic right of way, it is considered courteous and safer for drivers on the main roadway to accommodate and make space for merging vehicles.

Here are a few reasons why it is advisable to let merging traffic in:

  • Safety: Allowing merging traffic to enter smoothly reduces the risk of accidents and promotes a safer driving environment.

  • Efficient Traffic Flow: By allowing merging vehicles to enter the flow of traffic, it helps maintain a steady traffic flow and prevents unnecessary congestion or abrupt braking.

  • Legal Requirement: In many jurisdictions, traffic laws specify that drivers on the main roadway must yield or make way for merging vehicles. Failing to yield to merging traffic when required can result in traffic violations.

While it is important for merging drivers to properly gauge the traffic flow and merge safely, drivers on the main roadway can play a role in facilitating the merging process by adjusting their speed or changing lanes when possible to create a gap for merging vehicles.

Remember, being aware of your surroundings, signaling your intentions, and practicing defensive driving can help promote safety and smoother traffic flow when encountering merging vehicles.

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