While I've encountered the issue of merge lanes before--actually on a daily basis when I pick her up--but it's extremely irksome when the traffic is 10x heavier than it is in the afternoon.
Anyhoo, let's start with on ramps. The purpose of the ON ramp is for the car to accelerate to the same speed as the traffic you are merging into, usually on a freeway/expressway/autobahn/whatever.
- Do NOT slow down to 'look'--you should be looking when you are accelerating. It's easier to merge into traffic when you are going at the right speed.
- Do NOT stop to look--yes, this has happened in front of me before. It takes longer to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph than the length of the remaining on ramp! Especially on the older expressways.
- Don't slow down if there are ten cars behind you waiting to merge into the traffic.--Are you freakin' trying to kill all of us?? Use the right pedal--ACCELERATE!!!
- on a cloverleaf, look as soon as you get a chance, which is usually 1/3 of the way into the leaf. Start planning your merge ASAP. Cars will be pulling in front of you and behind you to merge onto the expressway you just exited. Be smart about it.
- If you have someone going too slow in front of you, do NOT speed up their car butts, thinking this will encourage them to accelerate. It won't work. Back off a little. You're smarter than they are and know you can accelerate more efficiently if you have some space away from them.
- If possible, get out of the right hand lane--if you have to drive 10 miles until your exit, leave the right hand lane for those who have shorter distances to navigate. Be courteous. It's really no skin off your nose, is it?
- if you must stay in the right lane, pay attention to those merging into traffic and ADJUST your speed to allow them to seamlessly merge--Yes, you can do this. I do this all the time.
- Don't be an A-hole and match your speed to the dude coming up the on ramp. Don't block him from merging in front of you, or forcing him to slam on his brakes. Is it really that important to you? Does it make you feel proud of yourself? If it does, then you have bigger issues than this blog can address.