When I leave my work everyday, I have to enter a main road via a T-intersection (unsignalized) that has an acceleration lane. The main road has only two lanes (1 for each direction). My question is this: Should I wait for the incoming traffic (coming from my left) to subside a bit before turning right and entering the acceleration lane or should I go right away, accelerate and try to merge into the traffic. What is the correct option?
Thanks but not really. My question involves an acceleration lane that is parallel to the traffic traveling on the main road. Therefore it involves a right turn to get into the acceleration lane and a merge into the traffic.
Joined: Aug 02, 2006
Location: McLean, VA, USA
Wed Mar 14, 2012 10:25 am
Well, I would say it depends. Mostly on the length of the acceleration lane. If it is short you basically treat it as non-existent and stay and wait for a big gap in the traffic to make your turn. If it is long you use it as a highway merging lane.
The difficulty comes when it is not too short and not too long. This is certainly a grey area...
You know what - scratch it, this all is wrong. It is not binary, it is continuous. In any case you wait for a gap big enough for you to fit in. The longer the acceleration lane is, the smaller gap you need. Yep, I think this is the answer.
Boarding an acceleration lane should always be done at a slow speed or from a dead stop (when it's short), so you create a big gap in front of you to accelerate freely and to have the time to take in everything around you.
To help yourself percieve everything, look far ahead. Look down the acceleration lane and down the road before, besides and ahead of it - as early as possible, preferably before even reaching the acceleration lane itself. Look for a safe gap in between the cars from the beginning, and not at the moment of merging. Look in the interior and side mirror frequently on the acceleration lane and while merging.
Many drivers are too timid as they accelerate down an acceleration lane and this is bad. Instead, one should accelerate positivelly, depending on the conditions, but preferably without using the full range of the throttle. Always keep all of your controls available to use at will. When you keep the throttle just short of fully open, you can use more acceleration, if you need it.
Another point is to actually use the whole length of the acceleration, both to accelerate to the speed of the traffic besides you, and in order to merge in a shallow angle rather than a sharp one. This really makes the merging action smooth and easy where otherwise it would be frustrating and difficult, if not dangerous!
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