According to research conducted by Insurance Australia Group (IAG) in 2016, 54% of Australian drivers state that they have trouble merging with traffic.
Many people have an issue entering a freeway or a busy road, and struggle to identify opportunities to merge with the traffic – irritating the stream of cars behind them. Exacerbating the problem are those drivers that simply will not adjust their speed to create a gap for a car to enter the stream of traffic – or worse, speed up to ensure that a gap cannot exist.
A lot of Australian drivers have difficulties on freeway on-ramps as well as bottlenecks along main roads, both of which are often hot spots for merging-related collisions.
Here are some tips for safe merging:
- When two lanes merge into one, the vehicle in front has the right of way.
- If there are two lanes, and the lane that you are in comes to an end, you need to give way to the vehicles in the lane that you are moving into.
- Always use your indicator to signal your intention to move into another lane when you want to merge.
- If there are long lines of traffic that is merging, take turns to merge – like a zipper.
- Match the speed of the road that you are merging into – don’t try to enter the freeway doing 40 km/h – you will be an accident waiting to happen. Try not to stop in the merging lane especially when you enter a freeway – you need to achieve the speed of the cars travelling on the freeway safely, within the distance available to you, without losing momentum while also timing the availability of a gap in the cars that you will be able to get into.
- If you are turning into a road with multiple lanes, use the lane closest to you to enter the road. You can move over to a further lane once you are safely on the road, merging one lane at a time.
- Never merge into another lane by crossing a solid line or a painted traffic island
- When you leave a freeway or a road with an off-ramp or separate turning lane don’t slow down until you have entered that lane.