Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Merging for Idiots

When merging with an interstate or freeway with a speed limit greater than 50 mph people are SUPPOSED to speed UP on the entrance ramp and should have reached a speed matching those already on the interstate to merge.  That is why it is called MERGING.  You do NOT force your way over by cutting in front of someone who is going 55 mph while you are still going 40 or 45 mph.  Not only is it rude, it is dangerous. 

Definition of merge:  
  1. to cause to combine or coalesce; unite.
  2. to combine, blend, or unite gradually so as to blur the individuality or individual identity of
It astonishes me when I am driving on the interstate the amount of people that still continue to merge incorrectly and they wonder why people get irate with them or honk at them.

Some people also assume they have the right-of-way when entering an interstate.  Let me enlighten you:  While it is courteous and safe for a driver to move over to allow cars to enter onto the interstate, it is not always an option to do so, and it is the responsibility of the entering driver to yield right-of-way to the vehicles already on the interstate/freeway.  The best thing to do in this situation is adjust your speed to slow down and enter behind or speed up and enter in front of the vehicle(s) in the lane which you are merging into.  DO NOT just stop at the end of the ramp.  Not only could this cause an accident with other people entering, you will not allow yourself enough room to enter safely either and frankly, this could cause a major pileup.

As I always say, you do NOT use your brakes on the interstate unless it is unavoidable and an emergency to do so.  It should be a place where one can set their cruise control and go, using the accel/decel buttons to adjust their speed, not their brakes.

Drive safely and don't merge like an idiot!