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The Marceaux Law Firm

Ramp Safety for Entering and Exiting an Expressway

You’re headed to work on yet another glorious day of rush hour traffic, and as you approach the Belden on-ramp, a lump begins to form in your stomach. Everyday it’s the same thing, horns honking, people screaming, and brakes screeching as dozens of cars attempt to merge into one another.

As you inch closer and closer to 10, a car narrowly avoids taking out someone else’s front bumper because neither one of them could be bothered to stop. Behind that calamity, three other cars are all trying to push into a 4-foot open space that a trucker has apparently decided he didn’t want to keep open any longer.

You take a deep breath—are you missing something, or are you really the only one who is considerate enough to follow on-ramp safety decorum?

Dos and Dont’s of On-Ramp and Off-Ramp Merging

It’s extremely easy to get tense and flustered when entering an expressway; not only do you have to increase your speed to match the expressway traffic, but you also have to be aware of any potential traffic breaks in order to maneuver into one—all whilst still paying attention to the cars ahead of you. This is why it’s best to not have any other distractions that may interfere with your focus at the time of merging.

Dos:

  • Always use your blinker to warn expressway traffic that you’re merging.
  • Try your best to match the expressway traffic’s speed to avoid sudden braking or tailgating once you’ve merged.
  • Make good judgments and gauge whether or not a driver can see you and will let you on before you merge.
  • Be courteous to other drivers, they want to get to wherever they’re going just as much as you want to get where you’re going.
  • Try to limit any added distractions, frustrations, or stress before attempting to merge in order to keep your focus.

Dont’s:

  • Never stop on an on-ramp unless there is a traffic jam or no clear opening to merge.
  • Never—for absolutely any reason—should you ever back up on a ramp. If you realize you took the wrong entrance or exit, continue on the ramp and turn around at the next one.
  • Don’t drive aggressively just because you want to get home faster; if there isn’t an opening, don’t push in and cause others to dangerously brake, swerve, or crash because you couldn’t wait.
  • Never assume that someone will automatically adjust their speed to let you on—don’t immediately merge without looking—wait for an opening and make sure you’re alert to the traffic around you.

 

Although it may be difficult to ignore thoughts or worries, perfectly time your merge with an opening, or avoid getting overwhelmed by traffic, by following the “dos” and avoiding the “dont’s” of on-ramp driving, you’ll be able to safely merge, maneuver, and maintain traffic flow without any added stress or risks.

Make sure your family and friends are protected by sharing this page with them via Facebook or tell them to contact us directly to discuss any potential questions or concerns they may have about a recent merging accident. Our knowledge and experience can help give you and your loved ones peace of mind.