The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

Fleet Safety Tip of the Week: Freeway Merging and Exiting

April 07, 2013

Merging onto a busy freeway requires a driver’s total focus and sound judgment. Here are some freeway merging tips, provided by State Farm’s online learning center, which you can pass along to your drivers as a friendly reminder:

  • Yield to drivers on the freeway, but avoid stopping unless absolutely necessary.
  • Adjust your speed to match the flow of traffic before entering the freeway.
  • Find a three- to four-second gap in traffic to merge into. Don’t look for the vehicle you want to get ahead of. Rather, look for the vehicle you want to be behind.
  • Check for cars around your vehicle before entering a lane and remember to turn your head to check your blind spot.
  • Signal your intentions early — 100 to 300 feet before merging or changing lanes.
  • Wait for the solid line to end before merging.
  • Cross one lane of traffic at a time.
  • If you must pass a slower-moving vehicle, pass on the left and return to your lane only after the vehicle is visible in your rearview mirror. Increase this distance when passing larger vehicles.
  • Be prepared for your exit, and maneuver into the far-right lane as you approach it.
  • In general, keep up with the speed of traffic until you exit. However, adjust your speed to account for weather conditions and the design of the exit ramp.

Here are tips on freeway exiting, provided by the California DMV:

  • When you plan to exit the freeway, give yourself plenty of time. You should know the name or number of the freeway exit you want as well as the one that comes before it.
  • To exit safely, signal, look over your shoulder, and change lanes one at a time, until you are in the proper lane to exit the freeway.
  • Signal your intention to exit for approximately five seconds before reaching the exit.
  • Be sure you are at the proper speed for leaving the traffic lane – not too fast (so you remain in control) and not too slow (so the flow of traffic can still move freely).
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