Do they still teach merging in driver’s ed? It’s been eighteen years since I took driver’s ed but I’m pretty sure merging etiquette is still a “thing”, but I’m perplexed by the amount of motorists who don’t seem to know how to execute a safe and proper merge. Now, I’m no expert, but I do know it involves looking over your shoulder to make sure the space you are attempting to occupy is clear and once you’ve done that, you are supposed to either enter the space safely or slow just a bit to get behind the vehile that has not made it possible for you to go ahead of them.
Being a passenger in a big rig, I get the front row seat to every attempt another vehicle is making to merge. My husband usually drives in the far righr lane, as any good commercial vehicle driver does and this sometimes poses a difficult situation for am illequipped motorist. Twice today, I watched as a car came veering toward the Interstate and as I grabbed my door handle to ready myself for impact, I saw the faces of these drivers as they turned their heads at the very last second to see if it was safe to merge. Normally, if it is a regular vehicle, those merging without looking would be okay, but when you have a tractor pulling a trailer anywhere from 48 to 53 feet, the only way you can stop from colliding with this large of a vehicle is to slam on your breaks. In both situations today, I watched mouths agape and cars screech to a hault due to negligence by the driver. On many occasions, I see drivers holding a cell phone in their left hand and steering wheel with their other hand as they see the lanes abruptly merge and they drop their phone or quickly veer into the shoulder. The speed a vehicle is going on an on ramp to the freeway is no match for our truck, so I’m not too concerned you’d hurt our rig, but it is such a hassel to pull over and deal with the phone calls and paperwork, in addition, I don’t care what happens to you because you weren’t paying attention (karma is a good friend of mine), but if you should cause another car to sustain damage or its driver/passengers to be injured, I would be very upset. Take a moment to be aware of your surroundings as the patterns in traffic change. Your job as a motorist is to not be a danger to others on the road.
One last thing, if you see a semi in the lane you are about to enter, chose one of two things; go faster than us to pass us so we don’t have to hit our breaks, or let us pass and as soon as it’s safe, get over into the left lane.