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Old 11-15-2007, 09:57 PM
 
Location: Looking over your shoulder
23,833 posts, read 15,860,174 times
Reputation: 56113
Question Driving me crazy! ~ who are those people?

Seems like driving is becoming more and more troublesome with so many additional cars on the road, many are new drivers. I thought it might be a good idea to have a new thread for safer driving comments. Iím sure that there are lots of stories and thoughts out there from everyone that could be shared with others to help out at one time or another.

So letís hear from some of you who have problems, or find issues of driving that can be shared ~ each of us can learn something new or find out why our own insurance is so high and the state took our license back.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

One of the things that always troubles me is this highway sign below. I think I understand what it means, but Iím not sure everyone else understands it. Then again maybe Iím wrong on the whole thing.

It is my understanding that when seeing this sign itís telling me that Iím in one of two lanes traveling in the same direction. However one of these two lanes must merge! The question I find is ďwho has to merge into what lane?Ē I believe that the right lane is ending and must merge into the left lane. Who then has the right-of-way if two or more cars are coming to the end and a merge is needed?

http://www.digitalstudio7.com/graphics/product/Lane%20Merge.jpg (broken link)

One would think that those cars in the right lane must merge into the left and thus they have to yield right-of-way. Thatís my take on it anyhow. But Iíve seen so many drivers who fail to yield and it seems like everyone is trying to cut each other off in an effort to get ahead of the others.

Whatís your take on this, or do you have another issue to bring out?

And because I posted this one, I get to rant and rave about how stupid those other drivers are who fail to yield the right-of-way to me. Theyíre dumb and stupid and shouldnít be on the road at all. (donít let Mrs. AksarbeN see this post)
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Old 11-15-2007, 10:20 PM
 
Location: Vermont / NEK
5,365 posts, read 8,572,219 times
Reputation: 6430
You're correct about what the sign stands for and I agree with you as to who has the right of way. I believe that the drivers who are just driving straight ahead and not changing lanes would have the right of way. But then, the other drivers' lane is ending. A bit of a dilemma for many, I'm sure. Merging traffic doesn't have the right of way in my book, but I do believe that the drivers in the straight-ahead lane do have the responsibility to allow others in in a reasonable manner. That sign isn't there just for the benefit of right lane traffic. It's for all.

And I think all drivers jockeying for position should just be shot out of a cannon. At sunrise. With Mr. AskarbeN doing the honors.
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Old 11-15-2007, 10:21 PM
 
Location: land of quail, bunnies, and red tail hawks
1,463 posts, read 2,175,122 times
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If I remember correctly, the person who has to merge DOES NOT have the right of way. He is supposed to control his approach and merge smoothly with the flowing traffic. In reality, though, you're right. At some point, he HAS to merge, so it only makes sense to yield to him when he's at the end of his rope.

Now, can someone teach me about roundabouts? I live in the boonies, Alaska, and we don't even have a single traffic light. It seems like roundabouts are popping up everywhere else, and I go whenever I see one and try to avoid them like the plague. I can handle them well enough in lightly travelled residential areas, but no one seems willing to yield in the busier ones.
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Old 11-15-2007, 10:34 PM
 
Location: Fairbanks Alaska
1,675 posts, read 4,353,622 times
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Default Roundabouts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blueberry View Post
If I remember correctly, the person who has to merge DOES NOT have the right of way. He is supposed to control his approach and merge smoothly with the flowing traffic. In reality, though, you're right. At some point, he HAS to merge, so it only makes sense to yield to him when he's at the end of his rope.

Now, can someone teach me about roundabouts? I live in the boonies, Alaska, and we don't even have a single traffic light. It seems like roundabouts are popping up everywhere else, and I go whenever I see one and try to avoid them like the plague. I can handle them well enough in lightly travelled residential areas, but no one seems willing to yield in the busier ones.
Ripped from a page on the State of Ak website for public distribution:

Roundabouts are safer than signalized intersections because there are fewer conflict points for accidents. Roundabouts are not the same as the greatly maligned traffic circles that were built in Europe and some east coast cities during the early 1900ís. Instead, roundabouts work much more like a ďright on redĒ intersection on a one-way street. Drivers are encouraged to remember these rules when using a roundabout:

ē Slow down as you approach, checking for vehicles and pedestrians.
ē Yield to traffic already in the circle.
ē Turn right as you enter the roundabout (traffic in roundabouts always flows one way - counterclockwise).
ē Do not stop once inside the roundabout.
ē Use your turn signals to indicate where you are exiting.

Roundabouts have been found to reduce accidents by slowing traffic down while increasing capacity by keeping the vehicles moving. The State of Maryland found that their roundabouts reduced all types of accidents by 60 percent and reduced fatal accidents by 75 percent.

Drivers are encouraged to go to www.fhwa.dot.gov/resourcecenter/teamsafe_rndabout.pdf (broken link) or Alaska Roundabouts to learn more about the rules and benefits of driving roundabouts.

Last edited by Arcticthaw; 11-15-2007 at 10:35 PM.. Reason: add title for clarity
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Old 11-15-2007, 11:32 PM
 
Location: land of quail, bunnies, and red tail hawks
1,463 posts, read 2,175,122 times
Reputation: 3372
Default Roundabouts

Bless you, Arcticthaw!

I knew the info was out there somewhere, but I've just been too lazy to look it up. (I actually did once, but promptly forgot it since I rarely have to use the things.) Intuitively, I know how the silly things are supposed to work, but I've seen lots of weird things happen in roundabouts.

I'd be curious as to how many people loathe the things and how many actually embrace them. Personally, I don't know many people who like them.
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Old 11-16-2007, 02:43 AM
 
Location: Colorado, Denver Metro Area
1,048 posts, read 2,980,361 times
Reputation: 384
You are correct. However it depends on the sign (not sure if thats how your state is). As some signs have the Merge on the left sign (known as Left Merge Symbol Signs). So the right of way depends on the lane that is merging.



So the right of way depends on which line ends.
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Old 11-16-2007, 07:56 AM
 
Location: Looking over your shoulder
23,833 posts, read 15,860,174 times
Reputation: 56113
Lightbulb Avoiding is always the first choice when driving!

So far itís understood which lane left or right will be merging into the other. Many drivers may or may not understand this concept. We have talked about who has the right-of-way and who should yield when merging from lane to lane and thatís with the understanding that two cars are side by side. That normally doesnít happen (side by side) usually one car will be ahead slightly. With that thought now in mind ~ would the car who is ahead of the other be more likely to have the right-of-way?

I have to add ~ right-of-way and who has it maybe a legal term, but it isnít always something that a driver should consider being his (even if he has the right-of-way) itís better to yield the right of way and avoid an accident then to argue with the other driver or the judge who had the right of way. Avoiding is always the first choice when driving!
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Old 11-16-2007, 08:18 PM
 
Location: Fairbanks Alaska
1,675 posts, read 4,353,622 times
Reputation: 609
The root of the issue seems to me is that most people up here don't know or understand how to merge with the flow of traffic. This is cause by two main problems,
1 drivers ignorance on how to merge.
2 DOT tendancy to underdesign approaches and sight distances for merge lanes. This then requires them to add a Yield sign. Defeating the whole purpose of merge and backing up traffice because some think that Yield means STOP!
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Old 11-17-2007, 02:37 AM
 
6,351 posts, read 13,081,651 times
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Good post, Aksarben! As for who must yield, my assumption is that those in the lane that continues have the right of way and those losing their lane must yield. Of course, as you've already noted, some courtesy and advanced planning should be the order of the day... Obviously, a thinking driver would start planning as soon as he/she sees the sign, regardless of lane. Drivers in the through lane should consider how to safely let those in the ending lane ease into their lane. And those in the ending lane should be looking for a place to merge that will keep traffic flowing. This sign does NOT mean that everyone in the ending lane should race their way to just before the merge and squeeze in ahead of everyone else... GOOD drivers are always aware of what's going on around them and try to always leave the other drivers an "out"...
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Old 11-17-2007, 06:18 AM
 
Location: Camano Island, WA
1,923 posts, read 6,268,793 times
Reputation: 1026
As far as merging...I loathe the type of driver that sees a car coming off of the ramp to merge onto the highway and that driver currently on the highway does not slow down/change lanes permitting the driver coming off the ramp to merge safely.
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