The Proper Way To Merge?

Topic 26214 | Page 1

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RealDiehl's Comment
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So what do you think? Is it better to merge early when you see that sign in a construction zone that says, "right lane ends merge left". Or do you think it is better to ride the lane until it ends and then merge at the last minute? I've seen it argued both ways. For the record, I get over ASAP...but that doesn't mean it's right.

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

PackRat's Comment
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The heavier the traffic, the earlier I like to get over. I've observed that the closer the distance to the actual merge point, the less inclined drivers seem to be inclined to allow any other vehicle to get in front of them, especially a big rig. Conversely, many cars will do just about anything in order to "get in front of that big truck".

Oz's Comment
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I've observed that the closer the distance to the actual merge point, the less inclined drivers seem to be inclined to allow any other vehicle to get in front of them,

Agreed, I refer to this as the lead dog complex.

ChickenPlucker's Comment
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Depends if I'm doing local shift work or long hauls. My level of courtesy tends to shift depending on my timelines.

Turtle's Comment
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Ah, the oft debated subject of merging. My opinion?

What should happen:

Everyone stays in their lane until they reach the merge point, then take turns getting into the travel lane. Very efficient, nobody gets upset, smooth operation.

What actually happens:

Driver thinks it's better to get in line early, then is immediately passed by a dozen other vehicles, trucks and four wheelers alike. Driver is somehow surprised by this, and now angered. "Well I got in line way back there, so I'm sure as hell not going to let anybody in front of me now!" Temps flare, brakes are jammed, bottleneck worsens.

I'm a firm believer in maintaining your lane until the merge point. Because if you get in line a mile back and expect everybody to follow suit, I'm sorry but you're foolish. It'll never happen. Someone will always see that open lane and take it, ticking you off.

That said, if everyone in front of me is merging early, I'll do the same, knowing a bunch of cars will probably pass me. But I don't care, it doesn't upset me. I'll let them in at the merge point because in the big picture, I'd rather have them in front of me anyway.

There are construction zones with signs specifically saying to "Stay in lane until merge point". When the drivers follow those signs, I've found it to be the most efficient and courteous way of merging.

That's my take anyway

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

I tell my students to

Git while the Gittin's good.

Once you know you'll need to change lanes, get started. That way if there's any problem (as when a driver refuses to let you in because he doesn't want to be behind a truck) you still have time. Always communicate your intention with your turn signals!

In those situations where you are "stuck" in a disappearing lane, the traffic will probably be going slow. Then as you're running out of room, with turn signals flashing, slowly and gently start moving into the next lane. Eventually someone will give you space to move in.

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Grumpy Old Man's Comment
member avatar

I tell my students to

double-quotes-start.png

Git while the Gittin's good.

double-quotes-end.png

Once you know you'll need to change lanes, get started. That way if there's any problem (as when a driver refuses to let you in because he doesn't want to be behind a truck) you still have time. Always communicate your intention with your turn signals!

In those situations where you are "stuck" in a disappearing lane, the traffic will probably be going slow. Then as you're running out of room, with turn signals flashing, slowly and gently start moving into the next lane. Eventually someone will give you space to move in.

Agreed.

As my trainer would have said, “get it done”.

People are going to pass you all the tine, in and out of merge zones. Get over it.

All that matters is that clock on the dash.

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Jeremy's Comment
member avatar

Since it is your legal responsibility to merge and not there responsibility to let you in id say get over as soon as you safely can and respectfully leave room between you and the vehicle in front of you to attempt to streamline the process

Rob T.'s Comment
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If I'm in the truck I'll move over as soon as safely possible. If I'm in my personal vehicle it depends. If traffic is at a standstill I'll wait until the last minute as that's what the zipper merge, and signs tell you to do (use both lanes during backups), if traffic is moving pretty steady I'll get over immediately. I dont wait until the last minute with the truck because it's much harder to safely force your way in with a 70 foot vehicle as opposed to 10 feet.

Rick S.'s Comment
member avatar

Why would you NOT want to get over, as soon as you know you have to?

Yeah - the lane you have to move OUT OF might be moving faster than the lane you need to GET INTO - because people have already left the lane.

Much as I try to be a conscientious courteous driver - I find myself less inclined to let the person that waited until the last second (or especially the one that blew by me, trying to "get a jump" on the traffic caused by the merge) - even giving the universal sign of FU when they get all pizzy about no one letting them in.

In a rig - do we really want to try and "bully our way in" at the last second?

Obviously - we all know on highway on ramp merges, it's courtesy for US to move over into the middle lane if we can (and it's legal), so that the truck trying to merge onto the highway can do so safely.

So my vote goes to: move over as soon as you become aware you have to - in order to minimize having to force your way in later or risk getting tangled up with another vehicle.

Rick

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