Merging onto traffic...Its really NOT difficult.
To be sure there are situations and conditions that might make the average merge into freeway traffic more difficult than it should be. Some might be heavy traffic on the targeted freeway, lack of sufficient entry ramp to gain speed, slower traffic in front, a weak-kneed vehicle that cannot accelerate faster than its squirrels can run or perhaps a timid driver, lacking in intestinal fortitude, situational awareness and the will to press sufficiently on the accelerator pedal.
On my way to the shop yesterday I was in the right lane for my upcoming exit ramp, maintaining traffic speed with over 30 lengths open ahead of me and perhaps 10 behind me, when a minivan attempted to enter the freeway from my right. Now to be sure, the ramp is only a 3/10 mile long from the turn-in to the fade-out of the merging lane. The van started to merge DEAD BESIDE ME...no head check, no blinker, just blithering along totally oblivious to the fact that there were OTHER VEHICLES ON THE ROADWAY. A blast of the horn brought a swerve TOWARDS me as well as further braking on the part of the merging vehicle that was already traveling at approximately 45 mph to merge into 60 mph traffic. Due to traffic to my left I was forced to brake heavily as the van forced its way onto the roadway at now-indicated speed of 35 MPH.
I laid on the horn again to indicate that the van was now obstructing traffic and the formerly 10 car gap between me and following traffic was now on the order of 2 lengths and still shrinking as the following driver braked heavily.
NOW the van driver finds the accelerator pedal and speeds away from me reaching speeds estimated at over 70 mph and slides over across 3 lanes (with little regard to other traffic, in fact producing several hard braking incidents on the part of other drivers to avoid collision) to the HOV lane and departs northward.
Words in the Wire
1 day ago