Wednesday, October 5, 2011

A Guide to Merging

Firstly: My drive back to where I live only took two and a half hours this time, unlike the five it took Sunday night.  Hurray.

Secondly:  Having driven many many miles in the past few days I want to talk briefly about merging.

Merging is one of the more difficult things about driving.  I will fully acknowledge this.  However, so many people are so bad at merging, it's almost unbelievable really.

How not to merge:
  1. Get up to about 20mph and slowly drive forward until you get to the freeway and everyone has to merge around you.
  2. Get up to the approximate speed you should be at and then throw on your breaks and come to a complete stop before merging.
  3. Similarly, come to a complete stop ever before merging (unless you're at one of those traffic lights that moderates car flow on freeway entrance ramps)
  4. Decide, despite the fact that there is no room for you, that you are going to merge in between those exact two cars (this happens a lot of times to me when there is no one behind me at all)
  5. Decide that: Oh no! You have to merge right then and the rest of the merging room the freeway planners designed is not actually supposed to be used (this style of merging frequently results in you merging across the gore point).
If you do any of these, please realize that this is probably why you are getting honked at.  It will probably make your life easier.

Now, for tips that will make merging easier on both you and all the other cars around you:
  1. Use all of the space available to you.  Really.  Even if it seems excessive.  The other people on the freeway are expecting you to use the full space and if you don't, you just make merging harder on everyone.
  2. Get up to freeway speed and while merging try to slow down as little as you possibly can.  Merging inherently causes traffic slow downs.  Don't make it worse than you have to.  Addendum: If traffic is slow or bumper to bumper then don't get up to 60mph and then be surprised when you have to slow down to merge.  Please use your eyes and look at what type of traffic you're merging into.
  3. If there are a lot of cars merging in a row, most cars on the freeway are happy to merge every other car.
  4. Do not force yourself between cars if they are intent on not letting you in.  Really, you're not going to succeed and you're just going to make everyone, including yourself, upset.
  5. Do your best when you're merging from a blind corner or the on ramp has very little room to get up to speed.  Generally, if other people are from the area they'll know how much that on ramp sucks and will try to do their best to get out of your way.
Basically, my advice is don't be a douche.  Please.

No comments:

Post a Comment