Here’s some advice from AAA on how to safely merge onto a freeway and how to exit. You may want to pass these tips along to fleet drivers as a friendly reminder.
- As you approach the entrance ramp, check freeway traffic conditions.
- Always enter the freeway at or near the speed of traffic. Do not stop unless it is absolutely necessary. Stopping on the on-ramp is dangerous because vehicles behind you are not expecting you to stop.
- To merge safely, allow a three- to four-second gap in traffic – two seconds from the car in front of you and two seconds from the car behind you.
- Turn on your turn signal and adjust your speed to put you in the middle of the gap.
- As you merge, use your mirrors and look over your shoulder to make sure no traffic is in your blind spot, or moving into the right lane from the left.
- As you prepare to exit the freeway, watch the road signs carefully, anticipate your exit, position yourself in the proper lane, and begin signaling your exit well in advance.
- Do not slow down until you start to turn off the freeway.
- It is illegal to back up on a freeway, and you may not cross a median. If you miss a ramp or need to go back for some reason, you have no choice but to proceed to the next exit and double back. Crossover roads are for official use and emergency vehicles only. Using a crossover to turn back is extremely dangerous because you must enter the high-speed traffic in the left lane.
- Do not attempt to change lanes and exit the freeway at the last moment.
- Obey ramp speed limits for both entrances and exits. When exiting, maintain the proper speed – fast enough so that you do not interrupt the flow of traffic and slow enough to exit safely.
- Most freeway exit ramps have a deceleration lane. The deceleration lane provides an area in which you can safely slow your vehicle without impeding the flow of traffic on the travel portion of the freeway.
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