OK, we all know that one person who does NOT know how to merge on the interstate. Every time that person gets behind the wheel it's a white knuckle experience as they either get on the interstate going 40mph or have hit Mach 3 at the end of the ramp. In both cases they generally muck up traffic already on the interstate, causing a flock of birds to fly up from behind windshields. So what is the correct way to merge onto the interstate? Here it is.

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Image Credit: State of Minnesota Driver's Manual

Step 1. Accelerate reasonably, get going interstate speeds by the end of the ramp if possible.

Step 2. Select an open spot in traffic and adjust your speed to get there.

Step 3. Signal your intent and move into that lane carefully. (Other drivers aren't mindreaders use the blinker)

Step 4. Maintain appropriate freeway speeds based on the conditions.

Here are some pointers for getting on the interstate correctly from the Steele County Sheriff's Office newsletter "Behind the Steele Star'

  • To avoid disrupting traffic flow when merging, adjust your speed to accommodate vehicles already on the freeway. You must yield to other vehicles when you are merging.
  •  Use your turn signal to let other drivers know your intention. Watch for an opening in the nearest traffic lane and merge when you are able to do so.
  • Do not stop on the ramp or in the acceleration lane unless it is absolutely necessary.
  • When an acceleration lane is not available, and a “Yield” sign is posted on the entry ramp, obey the sign. Stop, if it is necessary. Do not force your way into the lane of traffic.

Here is the driver's manual for Minnesota if you've got other on-the-road questions.

Thanks to the Steele County Sheriff's Office and the monthly publication 'Behind the Steele Star' for the idea.