1. #1
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    Right-of-Way in Merge?

    This is something that came up in discussion with my in-laws, and got me wondering. I didn't argue the point, because I didn't have a reference to cite, and really didn't need to have another (of many) argument with them, especially over something relatively trivial.

    Anyway, the question is: When one lane of traffic is merging into another (either because of a lane ending, merging traffic coming onto a highway, or whatever) who has to yield right-of-way? The thru traffic, or the merging traffic?

    My grandmother-in-law asserts that it is thru traffic that is legally required to let the merging traffic in. I've always thought (and it seems to be the way traffic runs anyway) that it was the merging traffic that had to find their own way in.

    So, what's the law? Does it vary by state (in-laws are in IL, I'm in FL) or is it pretty consistent throughout the U.S.? Come to think of it, I'm kinda curious as well, as to how other countries (like Germany, of course) view this?

  2. #2
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    SgtScott31's Avatar
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    It might vary from state to state, but I would assume that it is the same with most. If your lane is ending, it is your responsibility to merge into a lane that is not; hence why you need to yield while doing such. Same as a simple lane change.
    Last edited by SgtScott31; 09-25-2007 at 10:43 AM.
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  3. #3
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    CruiserClass's Avatar
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    Grammy-in-law is wrong and you are right. Begin victory dance now with a hearty, "In your face, Granny!"

    Forcing your way over because "they have to make room for me to merge" can get you cited for unsafe lane movement, and I've written it. It is the "mergers" responsibility to find a safe opening in traffic and merge, not the "mergees" responsibility to make room.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by CruiserClass View Post
    Grammy-in-law is wrong and you are right. Begin victory dance now with a hearty, "In your face, Granny!"
    Thanks. That's always nice to have.

    Quote Originally Posted by CruiserClass View Post
    Forcing your way over because "they have to make room for me to merge" can get you cited for unsafe lane movement, and I've written it. It is the "mergers" responsibility to find a safe opening in traffic and merge, not the "mergees" responsibility to make room.
    Interestingly enough, this wasn't brought up because we were trying to merge. It was brought up because she was worried about people merging into us. I wouldn't have been much concerned had it been me driving in my Mark VIII (I drive a little quicker, and keep to the left when passing on-ramps, particularly to avoid these situations.), but my wife was driving her grandmother's minivan (Grandma keeping her to the right, and at the speed limit.) which can hardly get out of its own way, much less anyone else's.
    Last edited by Iszi; 09-25-2007 at 01:52 PM.

  5. #5
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    I'll always try to let them in, but it is me letting them in when it's their lane ending soon.

    When it's my lane ending soon, I signal, match my speed to the other lane I wish to enter, and merge between cars when safe to do so, not into the side of one. If it is an unuslly heavy spot and no safe merge is possible, I'll get out of the travel lanes and slow and wait until I can merge safely.

    Simple courtesy works.

    Lawfully speaking, it is the duty of the driver attemptiong to merge to see that such movement can be made safely after signalling his intention to do so, and before he actually does so.
    "That's right man, we've got mills here that'll blow that heap of your's right off the road."

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  6. #6
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    I know this is brining an old threat back to life, but I didn't want to start a new one since it is about the same thing.

    Is CVC 21804 the CVC that covers this here in California?

  7. #7
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    I agree with my brethern - the motorist merging is required to yield.

    Same goes for those getting onto an expressway. That little triangle sign is for them - even though half the time it isn't posted, it still applies.

    Also, if you're in thru-lane looking to cross over to the off-ramp, you must yield.

  8. #8
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    Merging traffic must yeild... There'll be reference to that fact in your Florida Driver's Handbook; although, it is not a legal reference as the disclaimer states in the front of the handout.

  9. #9
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    No, in IL Granny was partially right....

    Specifically on a highway on-ramp, BOTH vehicles are required to adjust their speed to avoid a collision...

    625 ILCS 5/11-905.

    In all other circumstances (except for two lanes converging, a.k.a. a highway on-ramp), the merging vehicle/vehicle whose lane is ending/vehicle entering roadway, etc must yield.
    Last edited by flydream777; 11-03-2007 at 11:02 PM. Reason: misspelled word

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