Driving Public Service Announcement #2: Merging
You know how a zipper works, right? Same thing. Step one: when you’re approaching a highway from the onramp side, use your eyes and look at traffic. It’s your responsibility to yield. If you’re not familiar with the term, it means that your position is secondary to those already using the highway. A good example of yielding is when you walk into a bathroom, and somebody else is already using the urinal, you have to wait for them to finish. Driving is the same – but with less urine. OK, so back to the on-ramp. Your car has two options – speed up, or slow down. You’ll have to decide between either of these at some point BEFORE you’ve reached the end of the onramp. A good tip is to look for traffic early, then gauge your speed against theirs. If they’re going slower than you.. try to get in front of them. If they’re going by fast, then hold back and wait, pulling in behind them.
Now let’s flip the scenario – you’re on the highway and are going past an onramp and see someone coming up. Step one: Is there any good reason you can’t get out of the way? Acceptable answers are: 1) there someone in the lane to your left, 2) you’ve got to be in the right lane for the next exit, 3) Are you pulling a boat or something that diminishes your visibility making lane changes dangerous, or 4) you’re having a neck related medical emergency. If none of those apply, be a human and get out of the way! Even IF one or some of those apply, you can choose to speed up or slow down to avoid a collision.
Another possible scenario is a congested highway with backed up lanes trying to merge into one. Be the zipper… the most efficient merge here is ever other car. Rushing to the front or blocking out the other lane doesn’t help anyone… stop it.
Photos © TriArctic Designs & Photography