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Astraist
Master Driver



Joined: Mar 27, 2010
Posts: 209

PostPosted: Sun Nov 06, 2011 1:26 pm Reply with quote Back to top

A proper flow of traffic is an important element in driving and in driving safely. Flowing traffic means less collisions and less time taken to arrive to the destination. Streaming traffic freely is a mathematical problem with many variants that is in the care of civilian traffic engineers that design roads and their features based on a veriety of empirical data. But how can we as drivers help traffic flow?

Over time I have dealt with a series of subjects that addressed the dynamic aspects: The driver and his or her's dealing with the car (car control) and with the road. However, the great complexity of everyday driving is not in cornering lines, tire grip, steering style or what else - they hang ever so much more dramatically about how we conduct in traffic, of whether or not we practice courtesy, of whether we know how to let the traffic flow and how to flow with it ourselves.

If we take the point of view of the engineer for a moment, we can easily say that the ideal way to help traffic flow is to build a bigger roadway. Due to logistic reasons this option is not always fully utilized by engineers, but it can be used by drivers. What do I mean? When we drive down the road, we should make our effort to use as much of the available space on the road to our advantage. This principle is also used in motorsport, where track drivers in particular can be seen using driving lines that help utilize as much of the track's surface as possible, down to a scale of less than a foot.


Seperation Distance
Perhaps the most important way to use space on the road is as a seperation space between moving vehicles. Of course, this might seem to people rather as "wasting" space and not using it, but it is in fact the other way around. If we maintained at least two full seconds of a following distance from the car in front, we use that spare space to the best cause possible: to avoid a collision. Tailgating is the number one factor of collisions in the western world.

Furthermore, the spare distance actually helps the traffic to flow. When the car in front decelerates or brakes, the driver behind is also compelled to slow down. If the following distance is relativelly small, the following driver will have to brake ever more mildly that the lead car, and if the seperation distance of the driver behind that one is also too little it will cause a chain reaction. Two drivers slow down lightly before one interchange, not knowing that not five minutes later a mysterious jam has appeared one interchange earlier, and that the interference with the smooth flow of traffic will endure even after they are long gone.

Slip Roads
Another place where drivers don't use up the space or flow with traffic as best as they can is one slip roads, also known as access ramps or acceleration lanes. These lanes are meant to allow slow moving traffic to speed up and match speeds with the traffic on the main carriageway. When the relative speed (another term of civilian traffic engineering) is minimized or removed there is less "ressistance" and the traffic flows. No slow down, no accidents, no fuss.

But how are we supposed to use the slip road? Well, first we need to board it at a slow speed so that we have the clearance in front of us to accelerate unimpended. From this point we need to accelerate positivelly enough (and this is no place to feather the gas pedal), identify the gap into which we want to merge, but pospone the actual merging action to the far end of the slip road.

If we use the whole length of the slip road, we will be able to accelerating over a longer distance and reduce the relative speed differential, we will also take longer to merge, giving ourselves more time to plan our actions and giving the other drivers more time to notice us and our intention of merging. We also merge at a more shallow angle, which reduces or removes the chance that will miss sometimes as we change lanes, and we keep right as best as possible, with the traffic always only to our left, which is the driver's side.

And what should we as drivers do when we approach an interchange from the main carriageway? If it's possible, by far the best solution is to move one lane to the left, creating an open space for the traffic merging from the right. Whether or not you are able to move left, adjust your precise speed so that no car sits parallel to your left, keep a way out for yourself. Be courteous and try to allow the merging traffic to "zip" into the road by trying to let just one driver from the slip road to merge in front of you, and than go. If all drivers applied this principle, the traffic could flow as much as 50% more efficiently.


Deceleration Lane
A similar principle is expressed by the use of a deceleration lane. The idea is that flowing traffic should be moving at a constant pace, and any deceleration or acceleration should happen alongside it and not inside it. So it's important to use the deceleration lane to it's fullest. Identify the exit prematurely and move right unto the deceleration lane at the moment it open up from the main carriageway and not half-way through the deceleration lane itself.

Unless not possible, due to the design or occupancy of the lane, try to slow down only when you are fully on the deceleration lane. Slowing down on the main carriageway is hazardous and will produce ressistance towards following traffic. Slow down positivelly and be ready for the possibility that another driver will suddenly recall that he needs to get off at THIS exit.

Changing Lanes
Unnecessary lane changes - should be minimized. Keep to the right lane and, where possible, near the line of the right-hand shoulder. If you pass to the first left lane (the "middle" lane) drive mid-lane and move back right as early as possible. If you move to the outboard left lane, keep near the left shoulder-line and move right as early as possible.

But when you need to change lanes, do so as late as possible. If you notice a slightly slower car in front, moving left 800 feet in advance is not going to be the best choice. Plan the lane change early, signal early, but wait as late as possible. By "possible" I mean, as late as possible while keeping two-three seconds seperation distance from the car in front. Again, merge in the shallowest possible angle. This is the same principle from the slip road.

Once you move over and overtake the slower car, move back right as early as possible. By "possible" I mean as early as possible while keeping about two seconds of a seperation distance and while merging at the most shallow possible angle.

Overtaking
Overtaking on a single carriageway is a complex and dangerous task, without much gan to it. Always think and question, and than re-think, the need to the overtake. Must I overtake? Must I overtake now? What gain is there to it?

Proper overtaking technique is much like a proper lane change technique. Many people try to use the space by moving right behind the lead car, and than moving over, accelerating past and moving back right. The problem of this technique is that your view of the road, either of the off-side or the near-side, is impended, and you cannot accelerate untill you are on the opposite lane and in a potential conflict area.

Instead, hang back behind the lead car, with a seperation distance of at least three seconds. Place yourself laterally to get the best view of both lanes: The opposite lane which you want to overtake through, and the near lane, where you want to identify a clear space to merge back into.

From this point, once a clear, safe and legal oppurtunity arises, accelerate postivielly and move over as late as possible (which, again, means that you need to keep about two seconds from the car in front) and in a shallow angle. Accelerate past the overtaken car and merge back right as early as possible (which, again, means that you keep a good gap from the car behind).

This technique holds of the advantages of the late merging: All the other road users are notified of your intention of overtaking, including the overtaken car and the car behind. You spend less time in the area of conflict (the opposite lane) and you maintain an open visual field and the whole manuever takes much less time and space to complete. You can also abort the overtake very easily, when you are still in your own lane, or even while you have began moving over. The technique is also smooth and does not disturb the balance of the car.

Blocked Lanes
Your lane is blocked. What to do? Identify the need to change lanes early, but wait. Merge as late as possible. By "possible" I mean as late as possible without having to slow down unnecessarily. If we wait too long, we will be forced to slow down, and maybe even stop, and than wait for a gap in the traffic. This is not desired. However, neither is merging too early, which might make other drivers pass alongside us from the right.

Naturally, we sit in the left side of the cabin. Therefore, we are much less aware of what happens to our right, since the mirror is further away from us and is often smaller, as well. This is the whole point of keeping right. So merge as late as possible without slowing down unnecesarily.

Stopping
At traffic jams and congestions of traffic - if you can slow down early enough as to not stop at all - it's best. When you stop behind a queue of standing cars, at a red-light, stop sign or what not - slowing down early and gently is best. This way you allow the driver behind you and the driver behind him and so further down the road, to react, slow down and stop. The most dangerous situation for getting rear-ended is when standing at the end of the queue or a red light. So don't stand at the end of the queue in front, stand in front of your own queue.

If at the time you slow down and stop there is no traffic around, slow down early and gently and stop about three car-lengths early at the very least, stay in gear and keep watching the mirrors. Once a car appears behind you, see that the driver notices you and slows down and stop. If he does - he just provided you with "cover."

If he does not - you can now move forward and clear up a few crucial feet or even pull aside, even mount a curb, as to avoid being rear-ended. Keep your forward gap and keep watching the mirrors either untill you can keep on driving or untill two or three cars or one big truck pulled and stopped behind you.



Emergency Braking
Another situation where using up the space is important, is when we need to stop suddenly. Emergency braking is done by braking hard to begin with. Any attempt to perform "threshold braking" or other braking techniques in real time, is doomed to fail. Brake hard, even without ABS, immediately.

But what about the following traffic? This is exactly why we need to use up the space. First we brake hard, at once. After we do that and the car starts slowing down sharply, we get a much better idea of whether or not we will be able to stop in time. If we see that we are going to stop short of the obstacle, we can let up the brakes slightly to allow the car to use up ALL of the space in front of the obstacle and free those additional few fee to the traffic behind us.

We also need to consider our escape routes (in advance). The escape route is important not only to avoid being shounted from behind, but also in the event where we cannot stop in time before the obstalce or if the obstacle is an oncoming vehicle. The open shoulder of the road is a good escape route, but open parking bays, cross-roads and even small curbs can be used as good escape routes.

If you need to brake suddenly, brake in an angle relative to the road, by guiding the car lightly towards the desired direction and braking diagonally relative to the road. If further, drastic avoidance manuever is required, hang on to the brakes and than veer as late as possible.

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GerardWon
Master Racer



Joined: May 10, 2011
Posts: 46
Location: NYC Area

PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2011 8:16 am Reply with quote Back to top

Astraist wrote:
...

Slip Roads
Another place where drivers don't use up the space or flow with traffic as best as they can is one slip roads, also known as access ramps or acceleration lanes. These lanes are meant to allow slow moving traffic to speed up and match speeds with the traffic on the main carriageway. When the relative speed (another term of civilian traffic engineering) is minimized or removed there is less "ressistance" and the traffic flows. No slow down, no accidents, no fuss.

But how are we supposed to use the slip road? Well, first we need to board it at a slow speed so that we have the clearance in front of us to accelerate unimpended. From this point we need to accelerate positivelly enough (and this is no place to feather the gas pedal), identify the gap into which we want to merge, but pospone the actual merging action to the far end of the slip road.

If we use the whole length of the slip road, we will be able to accelerating over a longer distance and reduce the relative speed differential, we will also take longer to merge, giving ourselves more time to plan our actions and giving the other drivers more time to notice us and our intention of merging. We also merge at a more shallow angle, which reduces or removes the chance that will miss sometimes as we change lanes, and we keep right as best as possible, with the traffic always only to our left, which is the driver's side.

...

So once again I have to say I'd never do this in many, many situations...

If you go to the far end of the slip before you merge you are asking for trouble. Frequently the lane just ends - at least here in the states this is the way its done.

So now your doing, say 60 MPH, you have very little pavement in front of you to work with and the gap you wanted was just closed out by some bozo changing lanes at the last second because he could care less about you.

Ideally you should try to pick a gap before you enter the slip (if road angles allow it) and merge at highway speed as soon as possible. You do NOT want to be traveling along at a high rate of speed where your lane is about to end and if circumstances change suddenly: your goose is cooked. Why on earth would you want to be in that position? It's not logical.

I don't care how many road engineers you line up to say I'm wrong -- Because I'm Not. What I just posted is the safest way to merge because it tends to eliminate any dependence from other drivers to help you out. While giving you the best chance of of having another option (the slip that is still there) if circumstances do change.

http://www.GerardWon.com | High Performance Driving School

We Own The Road.
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Astraist
Master Driver



Joined: Mar 27, 2010
Posts: 209

PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2011 9:46 am Reply with quote Back to top

It depends. I might also merge early, if I see that it is necessary. It's fairly reasonable to merge earlier, if only you compensate by accelerating harder over the shorter space, and manage to merge in the most gradual, flat angle possible. You don't actually need to wait for the last foot of pavement...

In my country I learned a thing or two about lack of courtesy or even aggressive behavior of other drivers, who are not so keen (as an under-statement) to allow drivers to merge. However, I do apply this rule and live by it and it hasn't failed me often.

Yes, you need to identify the gap as early as possible, that's the whole idea of planning ahead. You also need to signal your intention immediately and position yourself so that your intention of entering the space is conspicious to the other drivers.

If your space is occupied or if no space cleares out, you should stop at the edge of the slip road. It's a reasonable choice, and it's a known practice in the "highway code" in many countries.
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sgtrock21
Seasoned Driver



Joined: Jul 15, 2012
Posts: 120

PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2012 3:11 pm Reply with quote Back to top

GerardWon wrote:
Astraist wrote:
...

Slip Roads
Another place where drivers don't use up the space or flow with traffic as best as they can is one slip roads, also known as access ramps or acceleration lanes. These lanes are meant to allow slow moving traffic to speed up and match speeds with the traffic on the main carriageway. When the relative speed (another term of civilian traffic engineering) is minimized or removed there is less "ressistance" and the traffic flows. No slow down, no accidents, no fuss.

But how are we supposed to use the slip road? Well, first we need to board it at a slow speed so that we have the clearance in front of us to accelerate unimpended. From this point we need to accelerate positivelly enough (and this is no place to feather the gas pedal), identify the gap into which we want to merge, but pospone the actual merging action to the far end of the slip road.

If we use the whole length of the slip road, we will be able to accelerating over a longer distance and reduce the relative speed differential, we will also take longer to merge, giving ourselves more time to plan our actions and giving the other drivers more time to notice us and our intention of merging. We also merge at a more shallow angle, which reduces or removes the chance that will miss sometimes as we change lanes, and we keep right as best as possible, with the traffic always only to our left, which is the driver's side.

...

So once again I have to say I'd never do this in many, many situations...

If you go to the far end of the slip before you merge you are asking for trouble. Frequently the lane just ends - at least here in the states this is the way its done.

So now your doing, say 60 MPH, you have very little pavement in front of you to work with and the gap you wanted was just closed out by some bozo changing lanes at the last second because he could care less about you.

Ideally you should try to pick a gap before you enter the slip (if road angles allow it) and merge at highway speed as soon as possible. You do NOT want to be traveling along at a high rate of speed where your lane is about to end and if circumstances change suddenly: your goose is cooked. Why on earth would you want to be in that position? It's not logical.

I don't care how many road engineers you line up to say I'm wrong -- Because I'm Not. What I just posted is the safest way to merge because it tends to eliminate any dependence from other drivers to help you out. While giving you the best chance of of having another option (the slip that is still there) if circumstances do change.

http://www.GerardWon.com | High Performance Driving School

We Own The Road.

Gerard, Your method of merging from an acceleration lane is exactly like mine. There is one technique that I always try to add. I attempt to give myself at least 1/8 mile separation from traffic ahead of me prior to entering the acceleration lane. Ending up close behind someone attempting to merge with 60mph traffic at 30mph defeats the purpose of an acceleration lane.
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Astraist
Master Driver



Joined: Mar 27, 2010
Posts: 209

PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2012 5:31 pm Reply with quote Back to top

If you merge early - how can you "abort" and so "use" the rest of the slip road? Once you are on the carriageway, you are not going to go back to the acceleration lane. You have just set a fact for the drivers on the carriageway.

Instead, using the entire acceleration lane to pick up the speed AND to merge gently - helps you enter the road AND helps you should another driver fail to yield to you. This is exactly what people often fail to understand about this driving style: It's not that you merge at the end of the slip road, it's that you COMPLETE the merging move at the end of the slip road.

You are planning what you gap you wish to enter as early as possible - ideally before even on the slip road. You START moving over early as well, but you stretch the move at an angle - as you should with any lane change, really - over the ENTIRE lane.

If one driver fails to yield and blocks you - you can drop the speed and get behind him or them but in most cases, you have plenty of space to accelerate to a speed just ABOVE the speed of traffic besides you, so you can enter and than drop the excess speed.

In this way, you merge more easily because other drivers cannot block you out and become it's easier for you to reduce those extra few miles per hour that to add them.

In many roads and countries, the most-part of the slip road is marked with a solid white line as to force drivers to merge near it's end. Of course it might so happen that you would have to abort and stop at the end of the slip road but since you are being obervant you could see it early enough to abort your acceleration and since the lane does not end with a wall but rather with the shoulder of the road - you should manage to stop safely and merge from that position.
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newbielearner
Active member
Active member



Joined: Mar 27, 2012
Posts: 65

PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 7:47 am Reply with quote Back to top

Astraist wrote:
A proper flow of traffic is an important element in driving and in driving safely. Flowing traffic means less collisions and less time taken to arrive to the destination. Streaming traffic freely is a mathematical problem with many variants that is in the care of civilian traffic engineers that design roads and their features based on a veriety of empirical data. But how can we as drivers help traffic flow?

Over time I have dealt with a series of subjects that addressed the dynamic aspects: The driver and his or her's dealing with the car (car control) and with the road. However, the great complexity of everyday driving is not in cornering lines, tire grip, steering style or what else - they hang ever so much more dramatically about how we conduct in traffic, of whether or not we practice courtesy, of whether we know how to let the traffic flow and how to flow with it ourselves.

If we take the point of view of the engineer for a moment, we can easily say that the ideal way to help traffic flow is to build a bigger roadway. Due to logistic reasons this option is not always fully utilized by engineers, but it can be used by drivers. What do I mean? When we drive down the road, we should make our effort to use as much of the available space on the road to our advantage. This principle is also used in motorsport, where track drivers in particular can be seen using driving lines that help utilize as much of the track's surface as possible, down to a scale of less than a foot.


Seperation Distance
Perhaps the most important way to use space on the road is as a seperation space between moving vehicles. Of course, this might seem to people rather as "wasting" space and not using it, but it is in fact the other way around. If we maintained at least two full seconds of a following distance from the car in front, we use that spare space to the best cause possible: to avoid a collision. Tailgating is the number one factor of collisions in the western world.

Furthermore, the spare distance actually helps the traffic to flow. When the car in front decelerates or brakes, the driver behind is also compelled to slow down. If the following distance is relativelly small, the following driver will have to brake ever more mildly that the lead car, and if the seperation distance of the driver behind that one is also too little it will cause a chain reaction. Two drivers slow down lightly before one interchange, not knowing that not five minutes later a mysterious jam has appeared one interchange earlier, and that the interference with the smooth flow of traffic will endure even after they are long gone.

Slip Roads
Another place where drivers don't use up the space or flow with traffic as best as they can is one slip roads, also known as access ramps or acceleration lanes. These lanes are meant to allow slow moving traffic to speed up and match speeds with the traffic on the main carriageway. When the relative speed (another term of civilian traffic engineering) is minimized or removed there is less "ressistance" and the traffic flows. No slow down, no accidents, no fuss.

But how are we supposed to use the slip road? Well, first we need to board it at a slow speed so that we have the clearance in front of us to accelerate unimpended. From this point we need to accelerate positivelly enough (and this is no place to feather the gas pedal), identify the gap into which we want to merge, but pospone the actual merging action to the far end of the slip road.

If we use the whole length of the slip road, we will be able to accelerating over a longer distance and reduce the relative speed differential, we will also take longer to merge, giving ourselves more time to plan our actions and giving the other drivers more time to notice us and our intention of merging. We also merge at a more shallow angle, which reduces or removes the chance that will miss sometimes as we change lanes, and we keep right as best as possible, with the traffic always only to our left, which is the driver's side.

And what should we as drivers do when we approach an interchange from the main carriageway? If it's possible, by far the best solution is to move one lane to the left, creating an open space for the traffic merging from the right. Whether or not you are able to move left, adjust your precise speed so that no car sits parallel to your left, keep a way out for yourself. Be courteous and try to allow the merging traffic to "zip" into the road by trying to let just one driver from the slip road to merge in front of you, and than go. If all drivers applied this principle, the traffic could flow as much as 50% more efficiently.


Deceleration Lane
A similar principle is expressed by the use of a deceleration lane. The idea is that flowing traffic should be moving at a constant pace, and any deceleration or acceleration should happen alongside it and not inside it. So it's important to use the deceleration lane to it's fullest. Identify the exit prematurely and move right unto the deceleration lane at the moment it open up from the main carriageway and not half-way through the deceleration lane itself.

Unless not possible, due to the design or occupancy of the lane, try to slow down only when you are fully on the deceleration lane. Slowing down on the main carriageway is hazardous and will produce ressistance towards following traffic. Slow down positivelly and be ready for the possibility that another driver will suddenly recall that he needs to get off at THIS exit.

Changing Lanes
Unnecessary lane changes - should be minimized. Keep to the right lane and, where possible, near the line of the right-hand shoulder. If you pass to the first left lane (the "middle" lane) drive mid-lane and move back right as early as possible. If you move to the outboard left lane, keep near the left shoulder-line and move right as early as possible.

But when you need to change lanes, do so as late as possible. If you notice a slightly slower car in front, moving left 800 feet in advance is not going to be the best choice. Plan the lane change early, signal early, but wait as late as possible. By "possible" I mean, as late as possible while keeping two-three seconds seperation distance from the car in front. Again, merge in the shallowest possible angle. This is the same principle from the slip road.

Once you move over and overtake the slower car, move back right as early as possible. By "possible" I mean as early as possible while keeping about two seconds of a seperation distance and while merging at the most shallow possible angle.

Overtaking
Overtaking on a single carriageway is a complex and dangerous task, without much gan to it. Always think and question, and than re-think, the need to the overtake. Must I overtake? Must I overtake now? What gain is there to it?

Proper overtaking technique is much like a proper lane change technique. Many people try to use the space by moving right behind the lead car, and than moving over, accelerating past and moving back right. The problem of this technique is that your view of the road, either of the off-side or the near-side, is impended, and you cannot accelerate untill you are on the opposite lane and in a potential conflict area.

Instead, hang back behind the lead car, with a seperation distance of at least three seconds. Place yourself laterally to get the best view of both lanes: The opposite lane which you want to overtake through, and the near lane, where you want to identify a clear space to merge back into.

From this point, once a clear, safe and legal oppurtunity arises, accelerate postivielly and move over as late as possible (which, again, means that you need to keep about two seconds from the car in front) and in a shallow angle. Accelerate past the overtaken car and merge back right as early as possible (which, again, means that you keep a good gap from the car behind).

This technique holds of the advantages of the late merging: All the other road users are notified of your intention of overtaking, including the overtaken car and the car behind. You spend less time in the area of conflict (the opposite lane) and you maintain an open visual field and the whole manuever takes much less time and space to complete. You can also abort the overtake very easily, when you are still in your own lane, or even while you have began moving over. The technique is also smooth and does not disturb the balance of the car.

Blocked Lanes
Your lane is blocked. What to do? Identify the need to change lanes early, but wait. Merge as late as possible. By "possible" I mean as late as possible without having to slow down unnecessarily. If we wait too long, we will be forced to slow down, and maybe even stop, and than wait for a gap in the traffic. This is not desired. However, neither is merging too early, which might make other drivers pass alongside us from the right.

Naturally, we sit in the left side of the cabin. Therefore, we are much less aware of what happens to our right, since the mirror is further away from us and is often smaller, as well. This is the whole point of keeping right. So merge as late as possible without slowing down unnecesarily.

Stopping
At traffic jams and congestions of traffic - if you can slow down early enough as to not stop at all - it's best. When you stop behind a queue of standing cars, at a red-light, stop sign or what not - slowing down early and gently is best. This way you allow the driver behind you and the driver behind him and so further down the road, to react, slow down and stop. The most dangerous situation for getting rear-ended is when standing at the end of the queue or a red light. So don't stand at the end of the queue in front, stand in front of your own queue.

If at the time you slow down and stop there is no traffic around, slow down early and gently and stop about three car-lengths early at the very least, stay in gear and keep watching the mirrors. Once a car appears behind you, see that the driver notices you and slows down and stop. If he does - he just provided you with "cover."

If he does not - you can now move forward and clear up a few crucial feet or even pull aside, even mount a curb, as to avoid being rear-ended. Keep your forward gap and keep watching the mirrors either untill you can keep on driving or untill two or three cars or one big truck pulled and stopped behind you.



Emergency Braking
Another situation where using up the space is important, is when we need to stop suddenly. Emergency braking is done by braking hard to begin with. Any attempt to perform "threshold braking" or other braking techniques in real time, is doomed to fail. Brake hard, even without ABS, immediately.

But what about the following traffic? This is exactly why we need to use up the space. First we brake hard, at once. After we do that and the car starts slowing down sharply, we get a much better idea of whether or not we will be able to stop in time. If we see that we are going to stop short of the obstacle, we can let up the brakes slightly to allow the car to use up ALL of the space in front of the obstacle and free those additional few fee to the traffic behind us.

We also need to consider our escape routes (in advance). The escape route is important not only to avoid being shounted from behind, but also in the event where we cannot stop in time before the obstalce or if the obstacle is an oncoming vehicle. The open shoulder of the road is a good escape route, but open parking bays, cross-roads and even small curbs can be used as good escape routes.

If you need to brake suddenly, brake in an angle relative to the road, by guiding the car lightly towards the desired direction and braking diagonally relative to the road. If further, drastic avoidance manuever is required, hang on to the brakes and than veer as late as possible.



-----------------------------------------------------

How did I miss this post! Excellent. Great advice on stopping and breaking in traffic. I break too much and end up using way too much gas! Confused

And those slip roads are way too slippery for me to handle at the moment! People drive like manic in them.
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Astraist
Master Driver



Joined: Mar 27, 2010
Posts: 209

PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 2:07 pm Reply with quote Back to top

It's actually very common for people, mainly new drivers, to struggle with merging on access ramps/slip roads. Here's how:

Enter the ramp at a relatively slow speed. By coming in slow and THAN increasing your speed, you can:

1. Have time to inspect the traffic on the highway/motorway and find a gap you want to merge into.

2. If you see a big dense bulk of traffic on the highway where you probably won't manage to get in, you can slow down more to let it pass before you get on the acceleration lane.

3. You allow the cars merging in front of you to accelerate and merge so you have the space to accelerate unimpeded.

Look for the highway itself as early as you possibly can, even before you get on the ramp. Also look down the acceleration lane and see how long it is.

Now, get on the acceleration lane and ACCELERATE, and don't be too gentle. On a slip road, it's perfectly reasonable to accelerate HARD, push the throttle almost all the way through and bring the revs up to the higher range - all you need to catch up to speed.

Just how much speed? Simple: AT LEAST as fast as traffic in the near lane ON the highway. It's actually best to accelerate to a speed just slightly faster than traffic - it's easier to merge this way, and it's easier to take off 5mph than to add them.

Apply your signal at least halfway through the acceleration lane. Even though your intentions to merge are clear (it's not like you have somewhere else to go) but it makes other drivers notice you.

Check the interior mirror, side mirror and take a quick peek besides you. Recheck the SIDE mirror at least once more as you move over. Ensure that your side mirrors are properly adjusted so your blind spots are minimized; Don't just peek at the mirrors either, move your head gently towards the nearside mirror.

Use up the space, starting from the very beginning of the acceleration lane and from it's far end and merge across the entire slip road so you can do it as the least steep angle possible. like so:
Image

NOTE: It's not that you merge at the end of the slip road, it's that you start merging near the start, but merge over a longer distance so you finish the move at the very end of the slip road. The drawing is a bit misleading in that way.

Pick up the gap you want to enter BEFORE you move into it. If it closes, decelerate to drop back and merge into another gap. Try to "zip" into the traffic on the highway:

If the car in front of you merged in front of one driver, try to merge behind that driver, so the traffic moves like a zipper: One drivers goes in in front of any one driver on the carriageway. Of course this isn't always possible, but try to make it so.[/img]
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sgtrock21
Seasoned Driver



Joined: Jul 15, 2012
Posts: 120

PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 11:21 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Astraist wrote:
It's actually very common for people, mainly new drivers, to struggle with merging on access ramps/slip roads. Here's how:

Enter the ramp at a relatively slow speed. By coming in slow and THAN increasing your speed, you can:

1. Have time to inspect the traffic on the highway/motorway and find a gap you want to merge into.

2. If you see a big dense bulk of traffic on the highway where you probably won't manage to get in, you can slow down more to let it pass before you get on the acceleration lane.

3. You allow the cars merging in front of you to accelerate and merge so you have the space to accelerate unimpeded.

Look for the highway itself as early as you possibly can, even before you get on the ramp. Also look down the acceleration lane and see how long it is.

Now, get on the acceleration lane and ACCELERATE, and don't be too gentle. On a slip road, it's perfectly reasonable to accelerate HARD, push the throttle almost all the way through and bring the revs up to the higher range - all you need to catch up to speed.

Just how much speed? Simple: AT LEAST as fast as traffic in the near lane ON the highway. It's actually best to accelerate to a speed just slightly faster than traffic - it's easier to merge this way, and it's easier to take off 5mph than to add them.

Apply your signal at least halfway through the acceleration lane. Even though your intentions to merge are clear (it's not like you have somewhere else to go) but it makes other drivers notice you.

Check the interior mirror, side mirror and take a quick peek besides you. Recheck the SIDE mirror at least once more as you move over. Ensure that your side mirrors are properly adjusted so your blind spots are minimized; Don't just peek at the mirrors either, move your head gently towards the nearside mirror.

Use up the space, starting from the very beginning of the acceleration lane and from it's far end and merge across the entire slip road so you can do it as the least steep angle possible. like so:
Image

NOTE: It's not that you merge at the end of the slip road, it's that you start merging near the start, but merge over a longer distance so you finish the move at the very end of the slip road. The drawing is a bit misleading in that way.

Pick up the gap you want to enter BEFORE you move into it. If it closes, decelerate to drop back and merge into another gap. Try to "zip" into the traffic on the highway:

If the car in front of you merged in front of one driver, try to merge behind that driver, so the traffic moves like a zipper: One drivers goes in in front of any one driver on the carriageway. Of course this isn't always possible, but try to make it so.[/img]
Hear Hear Astraist. I have an acceleration lane onto a four lane from a two lane highway that I have to negotiate about three times per week. If possible I will hang about 1/8th mile behind any vehicles in front of me. I am trying to avoid vehicles in front of me attemting to "merge" onto a 60mph highway at 30 or less mph! I merge at 55 to 60mph and am successful every time.
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newbielearner
Active member
Active member



Joined: Mar 27, 2012
Posts: 65

PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2012 12:03 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Astraist wrote:
It's actually very common for people, mainly new drivers, to struggle with merging on access ramps/slip roads. Here's how:

Enter the ramp at a relatively slow speed. By coming in slow and THAN increasing your speed, you can:

1. Have time to inspect the traffic on the highway/motorway and find a gap you want to merge into.

2. If you see a big dense bulk of traffic on the highway where you probably won't manage to get in, you can slow down more to let it pass before you get on the acceleration lane.

3. You allow the cars merging in front of you to accelerate and merge so you have the space to accelerate unimpeded.

Look for the highway itself as early as you possibly can, even before you get on the ramp. Also look down the acceleration lane and see how long it is.

Now, get on the acceleration lane and ACCELERATE, and don't be too gentle. On a slip road, it's perfectly reasonable to accelerate HARD, push the throttle almost all the way through and bring the revs up to the higher range - all you need to catch up to speed.

Just how much speed? Simple: AT LEAST as fast as traffic in the near lane ON the highway. It's actually best to accelerate to a speed just slightly faster than traffic - it's easier to merge this way, and it's easier to take off 5mph than to add them.

Apply your signal at least halfway through the acceleration lane. Even though your intentions to merge are clear (it's not like you have somewhere else to go) but it makes other drivers notice you.

Check the interior mirror, side mirror and take a quick peek besides you. Recheck the SIDE mirror at least once more as you move over. Ensure that your side mirrors are properly adjusted so your blind spots are minimized; Don't just peek at the mirrors either, move your head gently towards the nearside mirror.

Use up the space, starting from the very beginning of the acceleration lane and from it's far end and merge across the entire slip road so you can do it as the least steep angle possible. like so:
Image

NOTE: It's not that you merge at the end of the slip road, it's that you start merging near the start, but merge over a longer distance so you finish the move at the very end of the slip road. The drawing is a bit misleading in that way.

Pick up the gap you want to enter BEFORE you move into it. If it closes, decelerate to drop back and merge into another gap. Try to "zip" into the traffic on the highway:

If the car in front of you merged in front of one driver, try to merge behind that driver, so the traffic moves like a zipper: One drivers goes in in front of any one driver on the carriageway. Of course this isn't always possible, but try to make it so.[/img]


Oh this is great stuff - very helpful indeed! Cheers mate. Ok now I understand how I need to merge... at the 'least steep angle' and to delay merging till the middle rather than the start.
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Astraist
Master Driver



Joined: Mar 27, 2010
Posts: 209

PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2012 2:45 am Reply with quote Back to top

Why merge in the middle when you can merge (or finish merging) near the very edge of the slip road? Look at the illustration, it conveys the idea preety well. This how you should merge. The space is there for you to use it!

This will ensure a merging manuever that is more predictable to other drivers and much less dangerous or disturbing.
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Misha
Site Owner



Joined: Aug 02, 2006
Posts: 705
Location: McLean, VA, USA

PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 5:10 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Great explanation Astraist, thank you Smile
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