An Open Letter To Duluth Drivers Regarding Merging Onto The Freeway
There have been a lot of talks lately about roundabouts and how some people just cannot figure them out. But I want to talk about a traffic procedure that has been around for a very long time. I am not exactly sure who needs to hear this, but hopefully, it will reach the people who need to hear it most and that is the people in Duluth and the surrounding area who have no idea how to merge! It has been an awfully long time since I took my driver's test, but for my kids who have taken their tests in the last few years, I know they are instructed on how to do this properly.
We are pretty lucky here that commute times are generally not very long if you live within city limits. I for one take the freeway every day to get to and from work. I mean I could take side streets, but the freeway is much quicker. So in the morning and afternoon, I merge into traffic and I know to follow the general rules to make a smooth transition into the lane closest to me.
Now here is what I don't understand when you see someone merging and they start slowing down or hitting the brakes altogether and practically stop. You need to be reaching a speed where you can merge into traffic going 60 to 75 mph. The last thing you are going to want to do is floor it to catch up. Plus if there is a car in your lane and you slow down they will have to gun it to get past you. Let's all make sure to put this into practice to make the roads safer for everyone.
In a nutshell here are the basic steps from the Pennsylvania DMV:
Follow These Three Steps to Merge with Traffic from an Acceleration Lane:
- Put your turn signal on, and look for an opening in traffic.
- Accelerate up to the speed of traffic.
- Merge into the opening in traffic.