Merging — entering one roadway from another — can be a tricky or high-risk maneuver, especially in high-traffic situations. It is a source of anxiety for many drivers, but it is a skill that most of us need to use for highway driving.
Tips for Merging Into Traffic Safely
- Prepare well in advance. Look around you, in front, behind and in other traffic lanes.
- Use your turn signal to let the drivers around you know your intentions.
- Identify a safe gap that you can merge into.
- While in the merge lane, adjust your speed to match the speeds of the other vehicles.
- Check your blind spots to make sure that you still have space to merge into the lane.
- When there is enough space for you on the highway, merge into that space, bringing your vehicle up to highway speed as quickly as possible, and turn off your turn signal.
If no merge lane exists, signal, identify a gap and merge, bringing your vehicle up to highway speed as soon as possible.
Remember these cautions about merging:
- Make sure you are going fast enough to merge safely.
- Do not stop before merging into highway traffic unless it is absolutely necessary.
- You must yield to highway traffic.
- If you need to cross several highway lanes, cross them one at a time. Remember to use your turn signal.
- Always keep an eye on how much of the merge lane remains. Merge lanes, even on the same highway, can vary greatly in length.