Do I have to yield?

Okay, this might be hard to explain so I’ll try to keep it simple.

Basically, there are two single lanes that come together to run side-by-side, forming a two-lane road. After a short distance, they split again…lane on the right becomes an exit to a city street, lane on left side becomes an on-ramp for a major highway. At the point where the two lanes start running side-by-side, the right-hand lane has a yield sign.

Today I was driving in the right-hand lane. I was planning on exiting to the city street, so I was just going to hang right the whole time. If I had wanted to get on the highway, I would have had to move into the left-hand lane.

Lady in a big truck hits the merge same time I do from the left lane, and wants to get into the right-hand lane, also. She honks at me and makes rude gestures, I assume, because I didn’t slow down and “yield” to her. To my way of thinking…my lane was wide open in front of me. She’s the one coming over into my lane, so I figure that means it’s her job to yield to me. She should have sped up or slowed down to get in front of me or behind me, the same way it works when merging onto a highway. I’m not going to stop in the middle of an open lane.

But there is that yield sign on my side of the road. Does it mean I have to yield, even in my own lane? Or just if I’m trying to merge into the left-hand lane?

I don’t think I was in the wrong, here, but of course I’m willing to admit I might have been. I need to know, though, 'cause I drive this road every day on my way home from work. Don’t want to keep cutting people off or risk an accident if I’m supposed to be yielding.

You seem to be saying that each driver has the right to the lane they are in. But if you have the yield sign and the other driver doesn’t, you don’t have the same rights as she does.

You have the obligation to yield.

All vehicles have to yield. There is no such thing as “right of way”, only the failure to yield it.

All vehicles, at all times, are required to do their utmost to avoid collisions.

I won a bar bet on the “right of way” debate. (Had to bring in a printout of the legal code before the guy would yield. hehheh.)

I would think that your lane should Yield to autos trying to cross over.

Hmmm…okay…so should I be slowing down to almost a complete stop whenever I enter this section to make sure there’s not a car coming up on the left? It would feel weird to do that…that road is an off-ramp of another highway so I’d guess the average speed to be about 40-50 MPH. Weird, too, to stop with an open lane in front of me.

Thing is, if this lady and I were driving side by side for a few feet and I saw that she had her blinker on and needed to move over, I would have hit the brakes to give her room, no problem. But she wanted to get over immediately, and got mad 'cause I was in the way. It’s just hard to see people coming up in that lane until you’re pretty much on the spot.

No, a yield sign is not a stop sign. As you approach the merge, check to see if there is other traffic approaching. If there isn’t any, keep going as you were. If there is, allow appropriate space for them to merge, but this still doesn’t require stopping. Slowing down, sure - but only stopping if necessary because of traffic conditions, and because it’s an off-ramp, I think a complete stop would be dangerous.