MERGING TRAFFIC SAFELY

THE WRONG AND RIGHT WAYS TO MERGE TRAFFIC:

Merging two traffic streams into one lane is one of the most difficult parts of driving. Even the Indianapolis 500-mile race often has merging accidents. There are several reasons why this is so difficult:

  1. The drivers often have to look back over their shoulders to see the other cars in the merge maneuver.
  2. Drivers often do not know who has the right-of-way.
  3. Some drivers are greedy and use up the spaces needed for other drivers to merge.
  4. Some drivers wrongly pass within a merge area.
  5. Some officials have wrong ideas of how to make a safe merge. Their brains are stuck in the 1920s.
  6. Some officials do the merge as cheaply as the can.
  7. Many construction contractors have wrong ideas of how to make a safe merge.

THE CORRECT WAY TO MERGE

THE WRONG WAY TO MERGE bad merge
Wrong methods:
  • Traffic lines up bumper-to-bumper in the lane that continues.
  • Some traffic tries to pass in the lane that ends.
  • The traffic that tries to pass has to wait for drivers in the line to let them in.
  • Drivers in the ending lane have to look behind them to find a gap.
  • Selfish drivers can cause all cars to have to stop.
THE RIGHT WAY TO MERGE good merge
Correct methods:
  • Traffic is not told which lane ends until the merge.
  • Traffic flows slowly in both lanes as directed by signs.
  • As traffic approaches the merge point, it spreads out in staggered form to leave room for merging.
  • Drivers know not to pass other cars once the cars line up in staggered form.
  • Drivers don't have to look behind them to find gaps.

If there are two lanes to the left of the ending lane, some cars can move to the left lane to make room.

The correct way should really be used for all merges.

Rules for merging:

  1. It is your duty to make room for cars to merge.
  2. Spread out just before the merge. Leave room for merging.
  3. Do not pass other vehicles within the merging area.
  4. Change to lanes away from the merge if you can.
  5. Don't be selfish. Make room for cars to enter.

DIFFERENT KINDS OF MERGES

Priv = traffic has privileged right-of-way.     Burd = traffic is burdened to yield the right-of-way.

MERGE TYPEDRIVER VIEW SIGN INDEX LETTERDIAGRAM
MAINRAMPSIGN
-
NO MERGE LANE - Bad DesignRFLB MMA FFB dead merge
STOP Sign
Score: 0
PrivBurd           stop sign
YIELD Sign
Score: -2
PrivBurd           yield sign
No Merge Area
Score: 2
EqualEqual merge no merge area merge here no merge area merge here merge here
-
MERGE TYPEMAINRAMPSIGN DIAGRAM
MERGE LANERFLB     ABC merge lane
YIELD Sign - Wrong Design
Score: -6
PrivBurd         yield sign  
MERGE Sign
Score: 6
BurdPriv       merge    
MERGE Sign - Long Merge Lane
Score: 8
BurdPriv       merge   lane drop
-
MERGE TYPEMAINRAMPSIGN DIAGRAM
ADDED LANERFLF     GAB added lane
ADDED LANE Sign
Score: 9
EqualEqual         add lane add lane 2
STAY IN LANE Sign
Score: 10
EqualEqual       add lane 2 add lane stay in lane
-
MERGE TYPEMAINRAMPSIGN DIAGRAM
WEAVERFLB DDA ABE added lane
STOP Sign
Score: -6
PrivBurd         stop exit
YIELD Sign
Score: -4
PrivBurd         yield exit
Weave Signs
Score: 2
EqualEqual       merge weave 2 exit
TAKE TURNS Signs
Score: 4
EqualEqual weave 2 take turns weave take turns merge here exit
-
MERGE TYPELEFTRIGHTSIGN DIAGRAM
LANE DROP MERGERB & RFLB & LF HHI JKL added lane
Lane Closed Sign
Score: 0
PrivBurd   rt lane closed lane ends lane drop lane drop Arrow
Zipper Merge
Score: 8
EqualEqual use both

Post 1

rt lane closed

Post 2

take turns merge here Merge here Arrow
Zipper Merge - Don't tell lane
Score: 8
EqualEqual use both use both take turns merge here Merge here Arrow