traffic tuesday #12 – merging
Merging is one of those things that usually just “happens” when you are on the road. Typically, people don’t want to die on the road so people adjust speeds and react so that everyone gets where they need to go.
Unfortunately, there are exceptions to everything (which is probably what prompted the real, unnecessarily complex “how to merge” sign from Dekalb, IL pictured on the left).
I remember a specific entrance/exit in Springfield, MO where traffic would backup on the entrance ramp because people would stop at the end of the acceleration lane. Cars/Trucks wouldn’t move to the left lane or slow down to left traffic in.
On my way to work every morning, I take Harlem over I-80. Each time I cross over, there are dozens of cars exiting the highway onto Harlem. I’m always extra conscious at that spot because 10 of the 12 cars merging onto the road rapidly cross three lanes of traffic in order to turn left onto 183rd Street. And by rapidly, I mean with complete disregard for anyone else on the road.
So here’s a few tips to successfully merge every time:
- Drive a big car, preferably one with a gun rack.
- Drive a fast car–you’ll need the extra “oomph” to get ahead of the pack
- Don’t turn your signal on too early, it might cause the driver you’re trying to get in front of to realize what’s happening and try to speed up.
- Liberal use of the horn while yelling “my wife is labor!” out of the window. This is effective whether or not your wife is in the vehicle. Actually, it’s probably more effective as other drivers will think you are insane and give you plenty of room to merge.