Driving on multilane highways in New Mexico is a common occurrence. When you first started driving, you may have dreaded having to get on these roads because of heavy traffic and other factors that made it a nerve-wracking experience.
In particular, you may have had worries then and still have worries now about merging safely onto and off of highways. This action is not as simple as it seems, and it can understandably cause many drivers to feel nervous when having to get to their destinations. In fact, merging incorrectly could easily cause an accident.
Tips for merging
Even if you feel you have gotten less nervous about merging as you gained more experience behind the wheel, all drivers can benefit from safety tips for this type of action. Some safety measures you may want to keep in mind as you merge onto or off of highways include the following:
- Yield to drivers on the highway, but do not stop completely unless necessary.
- Keep up with the flow of traffic until you reach your exit, but make sure that you adjust your speed to exit safely.
- Check your visible areas and your vehicle's blind spots for other vehicles before merging into a lane.
- Only cross into one lane of traffic at a time.
- Adjust your driving speed to match the flow of traffic before merging onto the highway.
- Do not merge onto the road when a solid line separates the on ramp from the travel lanes.
- Find a 3- to 4-second gap between vehicles to merge.
- Pay attention to when your exit is coming up, and move to the far right lane ahead of time for a smooth exit.
- Use your turn signal to indicate your intention to merge onto the roadway or change lanes.
Changing lanes abruptly, not keeping up with the flow of traffic, not yielding to traffic on the roadway and a number of other actions could easily lead to a serious car accident.
Other drivers pose hazards
Though you may do your best to merge and exit safely when traveling highways, you cannot always anticipate how another driver will handle such maneuvers. Unfortunately, another driver could cause a serious accident that leaves you with injuries, because he or she did not merge or change lanes correctly. If this happens to you, you may want to remember that you have legal options for seeking compensation from the driver considered at fault.