Merge with care onto a highway to avoid a potentially serious accident says Boca car accident lawyer Joe Osborne.
It’s one of the most dangerous times on the highway. Someone is coming onto the highway from an on ramp but there are vehicles in the far right lane. Someone has to give or there will be a car accident. Boca car accident lawyer Joe Osborne says both those on the highway and those getting on it need to follow the laws, be courteous and be safe.
Lane changing and merging collisions were about 4% of all police-reported collisions in 1991 and were about 0.5% of all vehicle accident fatalities that year, according to a study by researchers from the Rutgers Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics show that 19,000 accidents happened when vehicles merged onto highways that year.
A merging vehicle must change lanes on a limited stretch of roadway while traveling close to or at highway speed. The driver must time the merge correctly so it can resolve an unsafe conflict with oncoming vehicles or there will be a collision.
Technically speaking Florida law doesn’t state which vehicle has the right of way though it states when one vehicle needs to yield to another. Those entering a highway from a secondary road need to yield to vehicles in the travel lanes.
Here are some suggestions on safe merging from AARP,
- Prepare for merging while traveling on the on ramp. As you approach the highway look around you, in front of you (someone may be traveling at a slow speed or stopped in front of you), behind and to your right.
- Do your best to check your blind spots to make sure you won’t be cutting someone off or colliding into them.
- Be wary of motorcycles and take extra caution at night and in bad weather.
- Use your turn signal to remind other drivers you want to get onto the highway.
- Identify a safe gap that you can merge into.
- Speed up to match the speeds of the other vehicles.
- Don’t stop before merging unless it’s absolutely necessary.
- Yield to highway traffic and move over when it’s safe to do so.
- If you need to cross several highway lanes do so one at a time while using your turn signal.
- Be aware of the length of the merge lane which can vary greatly.
Once you’re on the highway try to be courteous to drivers entering the highway by moving over if it’s safe to do so. This will make it easier for the other driver and reduce the risk of a collision with you.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident on the highway, contact Boca car accident lawyer Joe Osborne at (561) 293-2600 or fill out this online contact form. You can discuss your case, how the law may apply and your best legal options to protect your rights and obtain compensation for your injuries.