Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Cars & TransportationCommuting · 1 month ago

Advice for merging onto a busy highway/interstate?

There was a point where I tried merging onto a busy highway and almost got hit by a semi truck. I’m not afraid to drive, I’m only afraid of merging and it’s to the point where I’m avoiding highways and limiting myself. Does anyone have any advice on how to get over this fear? (I’m 21 and I have an interview coming up and my stomach is turning by the thought of driving there).

Update:

Also, what if it’s busy and I can’t find a spot to merge?

14 Answers

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  • 4 weeks ago

    the ramp is what is used to get up to highway speed. highway traffic does NOT yield to the ramp

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  • 1 month ago

    what if it’s busy and I can’t find a spot to merge?

    You do this thing called STOPPING.

    Hint you stop moving  by using your brakes.

    You wait until you can get on the road then proceed.

    There is no UNIVERSAL LAW on the millions of merges that are made each day.

    STOPPING is a last resort  most can avoid

    You do not learn the skills of driving in a few minutes.You learn by repeated practise. Suggest you avoid peak hour traffic for a bit while you learn.

    NO NEED to plan your interview arrival a few seconds before the appointment.if traffic is an issue for you.

    As a NEW driver you also need to work on what YOU do when others desire to merge onto the road you are on.

    This video not too bad in explaining it.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zQaGPGAyoA

    Youtube thumbnail

    every merge ramp on the highway system is DIFFERENT. Your experience develops overtime as you do it from more than just one entrance place.

    With a wee bit of effort you may find near you an easier ramp to enter the main road.

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  • 1 month ago

    use your signal and don't immediately get into the left lane

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  • David
    Lv 6
    1 month ago

    OK, first you need to know that almost all drivers, even EXPERIENCED drivers, do not ever merge properly. The on-ramp that leads to the highway/interstate is supposed to be used to accelerate to highway speeds BEFORE you reach the end of the on-ramp. In other words, if you know that traffic on the highway/interstate is doing about 65MPH, then in the MIDDLE of the on-ramp, you should be aiming to hit about 65MPH so that you are travelling a steady ~65MPH as you near the end of the on-ramp.

    Almost all drivers get that wrong. It can be really frustrating to be on an on-ramp trying to accelerate to say, 60MPH and stuck behind some idiot creeping up the ramp at about 30MPH. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.................

    For the sake of argument, let's say you are nervous about the highway, so you creep up the on-ramp SLOWLY (about 30MPH) until you get close to the highway or interstate. NOW you have a PROBLEM. See, the traffic you are trying to enter is doing highway speed, probably 65MPH. But you yourself are trying to merge at a speed WAY BELOW THAT. Because there is a great difference in speed between your own vehicle and the vehicles on the highway, it will be very, VERY difficult for you to find a safe gap to move into.

    Basically, if you are moving the same speed as most of the traffic on the highway, then you can merge into even a tiny opening rather easily. Where it becomes DIFFICULT to merge onto the highway is when you are moving way too slow on the on-ramp approaching the highway.

    Best advice...when you hit the on-ramp, FLOOR IT. Most cars have enough power to get you up to highway speed before the end of the on-ramp. But you will have to push pretty hard on the accelerator to motivate your vehicle to do so, typically....

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  • 1 month ago

    I've been driving for more years than I care to remember and only one time in my life have I not found a way to merge in. In that case, I had to go onto the side strip, slow down, and wait for an opportunity to merge.

    The "secret" is to get up to highway speed as you travel down the ramp so that you are moving at roughly the speed of the traffic that you'll be merging into. Turn on your turn signal if necessary -- someone will let you in. Slow down (a little) or speed up to work your way into a spot but NEVER hard brake or stop -- someone will hit you from behind.

    It helps to have a car with enough power to quickly gain speed down the ramp and when merging. Some cars are so under-powered that I would be afraid to drive them when merging onto an Interstate highway.

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  • Kaz
    Lv 6
    1 month ago

    Maybe try merging on the highway at an off peak time, when there's less traffic - to gain some confidence and become less fearful.  

    As you're on the entrance ramp and approaching the merge - look at the flow of traffic.  Look for an opening - then increase or decrease your speed to safely slip into the open space.  

    Try not to stop at the end of the entrance ramp - leave yourself some room to increase your speed and merge on smoothly.

    It's normal to feel a little nervous, with practice it will become less stressful and much easier.  Good luck. 

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  • 1 month ago

    Get up to speed and merge BEHIND a moving vehicle. Pick your spot whilst still on the slip road.

    DO NOT race along inside the traffic and try to jump in at the last minute after passing them.

    DO try to choose your spot as soon as possible to give other traffic chance to adjust their speed  (it only needs a slight lift off the gas) to give you room to merge.

    Do Not tailgate on the on-ramp, if you want to merge between semi's you need at least 100 feet of space between you and the vehicle in front of you on the ramp. You acheive the space by easing off a bit when you first get onto it.

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  • Anton
    Lv 5
    1 month ago

    " ...  merging onto a busy highway and almost got hit by a semi truck.... "

    -- "Yield the Right of Weight." 

    If you cannot see and avoid a semi truck/trailer you need to get off the road.

    As everyone said -- find a hole in traffic and merge at speed of traffic.

    If the traffic is moving, there always space.

    If the traffic is stopped, pull in front of a smaller car.

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  • Poppy
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    While coming up the ramp, try to get up to highway speed. Also, be looking for a hole to put your car in.

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  • Mark
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    Merge at or near the speed limit.  None of this "I'm going to enter the freeway at 35 mph and take my chances with a speed differential" (or worse yet, STOP in the merge lane).  Also, use your signal and don't immediately get into the left lane.

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