I could probably do at least 50 pages on one of my biggest driving pet peeves….merging… It’s such a simple task but yet it creates so much havoc. Really, ask my husband-to-be Evan and he will agree with you that I’m obsessed with this point of driving. It really is something that should be taught in every driving school in America. I actually didn’t learn how to merge in driving school, I learned from harsh but real experience. I don’t think people realize how many traffic incidents and traffic build up we could avoid, simply by merging effectively everywhere we go.
There are a number of different merge types that pester me so…
1. The Slow Merger
This type of merger tends to merge onto a 65 mph highway at 40 mph or less. Oh my goodness, it just gets my nerves going just thinking about it at this very moment. You know the cars on the highway are going at least 65-80 mph or more and merging in at 40 mph or less will either cause traffic back-up, sudden stops and finally a collision.
2. The Fast Merger
This type of merger tends to speed merge wherever they go, which is generally bad because most people are going the speed limit or slower. The Fast Merger will often cut lines in order to get closer to their destination, in a quicker manner (Guilty!) and in the process can cause a near-miss accident. Fast Mergers tend to merge quickly, almost without looking to see if they in fact have the lane.
3. The “I don’t know how to merge” Merger
This type of merger tends to act like they really have no idea what to do, to merge safely and successfully. First clue is that when they see their lane disappearing, they start panicking. Then they slam on their breaks and wait for completely no cars before finally merging. Then they wonder why everyone behind them is upset. Not only could this person have caused an accident but they delayed traffic getting onto the highway. The more people at one time that need to get on the highway have to make people already on the highway slow down or stop so they can get in.
4. The “Oh this is where I need to get off” Merger
This type of merger is one that everyone has seen before, the person in the far left lane that suddenly needs to move three lanes to the far right to catch an exit. The type that pulls out of a neighborhood into a middle part of the road, to merge with traffic going the other way and when she/he merges into the traffic it is at a slow pace, causing the people already in that lane to slow or slam on their breaks.
I don’t know if this post will make any difference but it will let me vent like no tomorrow. I travel from the beach(where I work) to the city to get home everyday. I see examples of poor merging that can lead to traffic backing up for miles. Most times, it just backs up where people get on and off the highway, and why do you think that is? It’s poor merging. Look at New York City as an example. One of the busiest cities in the world and yet they manage to not have nearly as many car accidents as the State of Florida. Do you know why? I do, it’s because even though they drive crazy they know how to merge. They dodge in and out to get wherever they need to go. It’s a little harrowing to watch but it’s also mesmerizing because they have the whole thing down, like a choreographed ballet.
So please I beg you, next time you are merging be sure to be aware of your surroundings and to enter the highway at an acceptable speed (60-65mph), turn on your clicker and get over quickly but safely. I’m hoping that if people focus more on their merging we can cut down on some accidents and definitely cut down on some traffic. Thanks for letting me vent 🙂