Every single day in this country, they are literally hundreds of accidents involving automobiles that do not merge onto the freeway properly. People make two common mistakes while merging--either not driving the right speed or not paying attention. The toughest part of merging is trying to gauge the traffic you’re entering. As you approach the freeway onramp, check the posted speed sign and match it by checking your speedometer. Since those signs are yellow, they are suggested speeds, but should be taken into consideration each time you use the freeway entrance ramp. Once you begin to come off the ramp, start accelerating up to the prescribed speed, or the speed of traffic. As you begin accelerating, check your rear view mirror, your side mirror and then turn to check your blind spot as well. This will allow for enough time to adjust to the traffic before the merging lane ends.
For example, if there’s a vehicle close to you as you start accelerating, you’ll need to decide to let them pass so you can move in behind them or to accelerate fast to get ahead of them As you begin to match the speed limit or the flow of traffic, check your mirrors and blind spot one more time. This will allow you to determine if someone from the center lane has come into your intended lane without realizing that you needed to change lanes. If they do block your lane, you can ease off the gas to let them pass and drive slightly onto the shoulder. This will give you enough time to safely merge in with traffic. If everything is clear, look well ahead into your intended lane and gently drift into your new lane. Once you’re on the freeway, check your mirrors to ensure the space around you is ample.
As you’re driving along the freeway and are approaching a merging lane, change lanes to allow the merging driver a chance to move safely onto the freeway. If you can’t safely change lanes, adjust speed to allow them enough space to move in either behind you or ahead of you. Help them make the transition onto the freeway a safe one. Becoming aware of the correct way to merge onto the freeway will greatly reduce the chances of an accident. At Anderson Behel we’re ready to fix your car if you can get into an accident, but we’d rather prefer that you don’t. So drive safely and merge properly and there’s a chance we might not see you down the road!