Managing the Merge
By: Madison Murata | SADD National College Advisory Council
As you learn to drive, you’ll come across the opportunity to work on the driving skill of merging. Now, this is one of the trickier and more intimidating skills to get the hang of, but don’t let this daunting task keep you from mastering the art of driving. A theme that we have stressed in our #DrivingSkills101 blog series this summer is that you should continue practicing and practicing often. The idea of getting on or off of an interstate or switching into a new lane of traffic doesn’t have to be scary. Once you get the hang of it, it really does become an art.
When merging lanes on the freeway or just regular surface streets, you always need to be patient and confident! You should never cross more than one lane at a time. If someone is letting you in, you can't be hesitant to move over or else they might become impatient and try to pass you up. Speed has everything to do with this particular driving skill. Managing the merge is all about anticipating what other drivers are going to do, much like with other driving skills. The goal of merging is ultimately to move into traffic seamlessly by yielding to the main flow of traffic, then adjusting your speed to the other vehicles on the roadway that you are entering. As you go forward with your merge onto a highway, you’ll want to yield to that main flow of traffic. Do not aim to get in front of a vehicle in traffic. Instead, look for the vehicle you want to be behind, that hopefully has a predictable behavior.
Merging is many skills encompassed into one – speed control, stopping distance, blind spots, and more. Before you tackle the skill of merging, make sure you feel comfortable with your other driving skills first. If you need a refresher, SADD and The National Road Safety Foundation’s #DrivingSkills101 Passport to Safe Driving Toolkit is a great resource to reference!
This week, we’re SO excited to release the 2020 #DrivingSkills101 Manage the Merge PSA with our partners at The National Road Safety Foundation, as part of our Virtual SADD National Conference on Youth Health and Safety. Stay tuned on SADD Nation’s social media this week to view the winning PSA. Drive Safely, SADD Nation!