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  #1  
Old 06-15-2003, 12:22 AM
TommyTutone TommyTutone is offline
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Laws regarding merging in traffic

Okay. As I am tired of constantly arguing with my wife in all matters traffic related, I am hoping someone can not only answer this, but perhaps know of something online to rub in her face (in the most loving way possible).

When in traffic, either on the acceleration lane on a highway or when two lanes come together to one, what is the law regarding merging?

I know in PA people getting onto the highway must YIELD to highway traffic (aka stop until a space opens up), but I thought in the rest of the country, or most of it that you get up to the speed of traffic and the people on the right lane of the highway must either speed up or slow down so that you can merge on (you should not have to stop).

In addition, I am of the belief that when two lanes come together to one, the people who are in the lane ending should yield to the car next to/slightly ahead of them and then you merge in. Again, she is of the thought that you should stop in the ended lane until a clearly open space appears.

Assuming what I said above made sense, can anyone shed some light upon her ignorant ways?

Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 06-15-2003, 12:31 AM
InternetLegend InternetLegend is offline
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I'm afraid I don't know the exact legal answer to the question or whether it differs from state to state. I do clearly remember from driving school, lo these many decades ago, that for God's sake, whatever you do, do not stop. I believe that drivers are expected to exercise a little common sense, that the merging driver should look for and find enough space to...well, merge, and to merge at the speed of traffic.
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Old 06-15-2003, 12:41 AM
Whack-a-Mole Whack-a-Mole is online now
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This mat vary from state-to-state but I'd wager they are more likely similar if not the same then very different.

Here's what the California Department of Motor Vehicles has to say about it (bolding is from the cite):
Quote:
Space To Merge

Enter the freeway at or near the speed of traffic. (Remember that the maximum speed allowed is 65 mph on most freeways.) Do not stop before merging with freeway traffic unless absolutely necessary. Freeway traffic has the right of way.
Common courtesy would suggest that people with the right-of-way should try to accomodate merging traffic. In the end however it is the freeway traffic that has the right-of-way...not the person who is merging.
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Old 06-15-2003, 12:44 AM
hermann hermann is offline
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I hate people who slow down to 20 MPH cause their afraid to merge when entering an Interstate.
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Old 06-15-2003, 12:47 AM
InternetLegend InternetLegend is offline
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Sorry, I forgot the links I found. I'm afraid none but the last one has the force of law.

http://www.mpi.mb.ca/english/dr_tips/freeway.html
http://www.dpi.wa.gov.au/licensing/s.../part3/3_8.pdf
http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/transp...here05.shtml#3
http://www.icbc.com/Licensing/rsr_ch05.pdf
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  #6  
Old 06-15-2003, 02:40 AM
tomndebb tomndebb is offline
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It varies by state.

Michigan does not use Yield signs, but Merge signs. The traffic lane ultimately has the right-of-way over the entrance lane, but everyone is expected to cooperate to let the two lanes merge. The Michigan law says that the driver entering the highway must match the speed of the cars already there to enter. When I first moved to Ohio, where they post those idiotic Yield signs, I would encounter at least one fool per month who would slow to a crawl or stop at the point of merger. (Obviously, most drivers did it correctly.) In the ensuing years the idiots have either learned or been pushed off the roads, because I rarely encounter such idiots any more.
(A few years ago, on a trip through Pennsylvania, I found most of the drivers throughout the state entering correctly (i.e. matching speed and looking for a gap), but at Harrisburg, every single entrance ramp was blocked by some twit stopped to wait for the traffic to clear. I was not there that long, so I am assuming that I had a run of bad luck and that every driver in Harrisburg is not a complete idiot.)
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Old 06-15-2003, 03:33 AM
kiffa kiffa is offline
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Well, where I live [well-known for lawlessness], the traffic rule is:
you can do whatever you think you can manage [Article 15], but eyecontact by the one who should yield means that you gave up your opportunity to run in front of the guy. Needless to say there are lots of dented cars where I live.
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Old 06-15-2003, 03:56 AM
tomndebb tomndebb is offline
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Gee, kiffa, that sounds a lot like Boston, MA, USA.
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  #9  
Old 06-15-2003, 08:40 AM
Hari Seldon Hari Seldon is offline
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Coming off the PA Tpk at exit 26 onto 309 south there is a stop sign at the top of the ramp. If you actually stop there and wait for an opening, you are going to have a long wait. There is no acceleration lane, just the stop sign and then you are in the driving lane. Most people just pray and go, maybe slowing a bit.

In general, most drivers seem to deal quite well with merges, especially when two lanes have to merge into one. Of course, there is always the lane jumper who ignores everyone merging and goes the extra block and then cuts in. Hanging is too good for him (very rarely her).
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Old 06-15-2003, 09:42 AM
aahala aahala is offline
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The general rules have already been stated.

There's a couple of spots I regularly travel on the interstate, where those entering have apparently gotten together and decided they have the right of way. If you don't move over to the left lane there, you will have an accident. How one is supposed to know this is beyond me.
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  #11  
Old 06-16-2003, 07:24 AM
Balthisar Balthisar is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by tomndebb
It varies by state.

Michigan does not use Yield signs, but Merge signs. The traffic lane ultimately has the right-of-way over the entrance lane, but everyone is expected to cooperate to let the two lanes merge.
Although there are some spots on I-94 through Detroit where that are yield signs, and even one or two stop signs!!!

Particularly in the Detroit city limits, it's dangerous as hell to try to drive "properly" in the right lane -- too many people don't understand that they have the responsibility to merge onto the freeway, and they'll continue at any speed they want to regardless of what traffic is doing. Of course this pushes everybody to the center lane, and the nervous fellows who would occupy the right lane (going 50mph) occupy the left lane, generally screwing up the whole flow of traffic. All just because of a few bozo's that can't merge.
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