Merging into heavy traffic can be difficult, especially on interstates and highways where cars are traveling at high rates of speed. Even experienced drivers can make mistakes when merging. For inexperienced drivers, attempting to merge into heavy traffic at high speeds can result in a traffic accident.

Incorrect merging maneuvers can cause other drivers to swerve into other lanes or slam on the breaks. On an interstate, the result could be a multi-car accident. It is extremely important that all drivers learn proper merging rules and follow those rules each time they change lanes or enter traffic from an off-ramp.

Preventing Accidents Caused by Improper Merging

Below are seven tips to remember when you merge into another lane:

  • Adjust Mirror Correctly — The first step is to make sure that you have your mirrors set correctly. You should be able to see a small section of the side of your vehicle when you look in your side view
  • Use Turn Signals — Many people do not think about using their turn signals except for making turns. You should use your turn signal to let other drivers know you intend to merge into another lane.
  • Cross One Lane — Never attempt to cross more than one lane at a time. If you want to cross multiple lanes, you need to merge into the first lane, check for traffic, signal your intent, and merge into the next lane.
  • Adjust Speed — When merging, you should not cut into traffic going slower than traffic. This maneuver could result in a rear-end accident. When merging, you should increase your speed to the flow of traffic so that when you merge, you do not cause other drivers to slam on the breaks.
  • Yield on Highways — When merging onto the highway or interstate from an off-ramp, you must yield the right of way to traffic already on the interstate. The off-ramp allows you to increase speed to merge safely into the first lane. Never attempt to merge into the outside lane from the off-ramp.
  • Wait for the End of the Solid Line — When you are merging from the off-ramp, wait until the solid line ends before merging. Drivers in oncoming traffic should expect merges after the end of the solid line. Merging too early can cause an accident when other drivers slam on breaks in a panic.
  • Watch for Traffic Jams — When merging, look ahead to check the movement of traffic. Be prepared to stop if traffic suddenly slows or stops.

Defensive driving can help prevent merging accidents. When you see vehicles entering the highway or interstate from the off-ramp, you must realize that the driver’s action could be unpredictable and be prepared to take evasive measures. If possible and safe, merge into the outside lane to allow the other vehicle to merge into traffic safely.

Hire a Fresno Interstate Accident Attorney

Merging accident can occur anywhere, but they are common on interstates. If you are injured because a driver did not merge correctly, you might be entitled to recover money for your damages, including medical costs, property damage, and lost wages.

Contact Torem & Associates to speak with a Fresno interstate accident attorney for free. Call (559) 500-5000 or 1-800-954-4444 or use the contact form on our website to schedule a free consultation with a Fresno accident attorney. During your free case review, our attorney will answer your questions about filing an injury claim and provide the information you need to pursue an accident claim.