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How to Safely Merge
Merging onto the freeway, especially in Southern California, seems to be a strong and dangerous fete for anyone to tackle. Preventing a car accident as you merge onto the busy freeways is important to staying safe and keeping others safe as well. Working for an auto accident lawyer and commuting to and from work everyday, I learn something new every day. Today we are going to go over the ways to merge onto the freeway without getting into an accident. Understanding traffic laws and having good driving reflexes are going to be key to merging safely. If you are suffering from injuries due to an accident, contact an accident attorney at Silverthorne Attorneys today to discuss your case.
Accident Attorney | Safely Merging
Driving in Orange County can be very stressful. The freeways are congested and people have a tendency to drive erratically. As every auto accident lawyer knows, safety on Southern California roads is incredibly important. Below are some ways to merge safely onto the freeway.
Using the Right Technique
The first thing we want to tell anyone before merging onto the freeway is to stay calm and pay attention to the road.
The first step to safely merging is to make sure you are traveling at the same speed as traffic on the freeway. This is incredibly important because too many accidents are caused by people who merge too fast or too slow. You want to merge when it is safe to do so. Use the acceleration lane – this is the on-ramp or where you are entering the freeway. This is so you can quickly gain speed. As our accident attorney points out, sometimes when merging on the freeway in Southern California, you will be merging into a lane that is already a highway lane. So, you may not have a real acceleration lane.
Merging onto the freeway with the speed of traffic will ensure that you do not create a dangerous situation when you merge. Especially when there are other cars that are approaching at high speeds. Look in your mirrors and pay attention to oncoming traffic. It may be necessary to wait a beat or two before you accelerate to the speed of oncoming traffic.
Use your Signal and Look for Gaps in Traffic
The best piece of advice our accident attorney can give you is, use your blinker. And use it easy so that other drivers know what you are trying to do. This will give you and them time to make necessary adjustments. Please take note: as the person merging, you don’t have the right of way. Other drivers on the road are not expected to move out of the way. It is more likely that they will continue going the same speed or even speed up. Therefore, it is up to you to adjust your speed accordingly.
During this time, you also want to look for gaps in traffic that will allow you to safely merge. Keep your eyes on the road and check your mirrors and look behind you to determine when it is safe to go. You will be doing this as well as maintaining an appropriate speed that allows for safe merging.
- look in your rearview mirror, then check driver’s side and passenger side mirror
- glance to make sure there are nor cars in your blind spot
- check again to see if someone has slowed or stopped on the ramp ahead of you
As drivers we have a lot of different hats to wear and are constantly multi-tasking. However, safety is the number one priority.
Tips on Safely Merging by our Auto Accident Lawyer
When there is a visible gap, ease yourself into the lane as safely as you can. Pay attention to the cars around you as you merge. You will need to be able to react quickly if someone brakes in front of you or tries to enter your lane at the same time.
As a general rule, cars in the merging lane (on ramp) are supposed to maintain the same speed of traffic. Which means, it is the responsibility or the person merging to find a gap and ease into it. Here are some helpful tips:
- if the car behind you begins to slow, it usually means that they driver is probably trying to let you in
- accelerate and merge in as safely as you can.
- the same goes if you notice cars moving out of the merge lane in order to make room for you
- sometimes drivers will be generous and wave you through
- never assume other drivers will go the correct speed.
- it will be up to you to react in a timely manner as to what is happening
As you merge you will want to create gaps in front of you as well as behind you. Leaving enough room will provide a buffer in case the car in front of you suddenly brakes; forcing you to slow down suddenly. Practice accelerating at just the right speed so that you are not coming up onto cars too quickly. This is along the lines with, never abruptly merge. You want to make sure you are being as safe as possible. Do not just jut out into the lane, otherwise drivers may not see you.
One major safety issue that I see everyday on my way into work is when people come to a stop in the merge lane. This is extremely dangerous because not only does it take time to accelerate, but you can cause an accident by making those behind you suddenly brake. By using your turn signal on right away, accelerating to the speed of traffic, and make eye contact with the driver behind you, you should be able to create a sufficient gap.
Always remember to be kind to those who are merging with you. Ease off the gas if someone is trying to merge onto the highway in front of you. If speeding up is a safer option, our accident attorney suggests going with this option.
Stay alert and try to make things easier for yourself and other drivers. It makes the freeways safer for everyone.
If you have been injured in an accident due to the negligence of another driver, please do not hesitate to contact us. Consultations with an auto accident lawyer at Silverthorne Attorneys are free!