How to Safely Merge into Different Traffic Situation

By Omid

As a beginner driver, merging into traffic can be daunting. For instance, entering a slip lane or highway. Many drivers feel intimidated when facing such scenarios. To help, here are some rules and tips to keep in mind.

The first rule to know when driving is how to correctly change lanes. This is an important step to practice in order to merge safely with other vehicles in traffic. The general rule is:

"When you change lanes, you must give way to any vehicle in the lane you are moving into."

Even when your lane is ending and you need to cross a lane line, this rule still applies. Make sure to turn on your signal light long enough to alert other drivers before you switch lanes. Once you have changed lanes, don't forget to turn off your signal light.

Safely Merging to Highway

Good driving reflexes are important when merging onto a highway. Check out the tips below to learn how to merge without crashing into other vehicles.

    1. Build up speed. You need to pick up speed when merging onto the highway. At the same time, check your mirrors and your blind spot.

You must ensure that you are driving at the same speed as the traffic on the highway. Doing so will help avoid creating a hazardous situation by causing other drivers to suddenly slow down. Don't forget to keep an eye on other cars while accelerating.

2. Use your signal light. Give plenty of time to let other road users know your intentions. Remember that even though you have shown your intention to merge into traffic, you do not have the right of way. Therefore, you still need to give way to cars already on the road. Some drivers will adjust their speed to allow you to merge. Be cautious when taking the chance to merge onto the road.

3. Look for a safe gap. You must use your judgement to find a gap in traffic to merge safely. Look for a gap between the vehicles in the closest lane and safely build up speed on the on-ramp. This way, you’ll be able to enter the motorway traffic's speed safely. Don't forget to check your mirrors and blind spots regularly to make sure the coast is clear before merging.

Note: Keep your eyes on the road ahead to check if someone has slowed down in front of you.

4. Merge when it's safe to do so. When you spot a safe gap between cars, merge smoothly. At this point, maintain the same speed as the other vehicles on the road. Once you have completed merging lanes, remember to switch off your indicator.

Turning from a Slip Lane

When entering a slip lane, turn on your left signal, check your rear-view and left mirrors, and do a shoulder check. Once you determine that it's safe to enter, scan your surroundings for pedestrians. Once on the lane, look out for oncoming vehicles and give way if necessary. A give-way sign is usually present. You don't need to turn on your right signal when exiting; just go ahead if the road is clear.

Practice makes perfect when it comes to merging or changing lanes. Always remain alert and check your mirrors. Additionally, do a shoulder check each time you switch lanes.

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