Merging is a fine art that not every driver has mastered. It helps if you pay attention to the other drivers and use some common sense safety tips. State Farm has some advice for safe merging that can help prevent you from having a traffic accident and an auto insurance claim.
You are driving down the road and notice that the lane you are in, and the lane next to you, are going to merge together. Maybe you are getting on the highway and you need to merge into the traffic that is already on the road. Are you good at this skill, or does it make you cringe and worry when you have to do it?
This is one of the situations that can lead to an accident if it is done incorrectly. No one wants to be involved in a serious accident on the highway that could involve multiple vehicles moving at high speeds. Nobody looks forward to a “fender bender” while merging lanes on a smaller road, either. Absolutely no one enjoys filing an auto insurance claim after an accident has happened.
Fortunately, State Farm has some tips for safer merging One of the things they suggest is that you drive defensively. Stay alert and aware of the other drivers.
Here’s a few common sense suggestions from State Farm that will help you safely merge:
Don’t stop on the freeway on ramp.
The drivers behind you are going to expect that you will keep moving. They might not immediately recognize that you have stopped. This could cause them to collide with your vehicle.
Obviously, there will be some situations where you have no choice but to stop, such as when a tree trunk is blocking the road ahead of you. Avoid stopping at the end of the on ramp and waiting for the freeway traffic to clear. As you merge onto the freeway, yield to the drivers that are already there.
Adjust your speed.
Often, the speed limit you are driving while using an on ramp is going to be slower than the speed limit that people are driving on the freeway. Make sure you safely and gradually speed up as you move towards the merge into traffic.
Use your turn signal.
This one is a “pet peeve” of mine. I hate when the driver ahead of me doesn’t use his turn signal, and then suddenly cuts me off! State Farm suggests that you signal your intention to merge early, starting at around 100 to 300 feet before you are going to either merge or change lanes.
Image by Cliffski on Flickr