Have you ever wondered how other drivers got their licenses to drive? Over the course of a day, there is so much bad driving, that it really makes you wonder if anyone read that little pamphlet the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) hands out. Let's go over some general rules to refresh our memories and permits clear up some of the confusion.
Merging permits vehicles to enter and exit a highway without causing disruption to the flow of traffic that is already on the highway. Most highways are constructed with on and off-ramps, which generally connect to acceleration and deceleration lanes. The idea behind merge lanes is simple. As you approach the point where the ramp connects with the highway, you need to immediately start assessing how and where you can fit into the flow of traffic without slowing down too much (the idea being that you do not want to disrupt the flow of traffic).
When merging, simply looking in your mirrors is not enough. Everyone has a blind spot. You need to physically turn your head to look over your shoulder and check. During rush hour, the rules for merging change. To keep a good pace, the DMV suggests that merger should work like a zipper. One vehicle should merge into traffic. A vehicle that's already on the highway should allow this person to merge and then pull forward. The next person on the highway should see this and do the same for the next person incorporating, thus avoiding "bottlenecking".
Turn Your Lights On!
Nothing is more annoying to me than a driver who does not have their lights on when there's inclement weather, or when it is dark outside. Whenever it is raining outside and you have your windshield wipers on (even if they are on the intermittent setting), drivers are automatically supposed to turn their headlights on. This is especially important if its really stormy outside as the rain can sometimes prevent good visibility. There have been plenty of accidents caused, not because of the rain, but because someone tried to change lanes when they thought it was safe to do so but did not see the other person because their lights were not on.
Many people misunderstand the use of parking lights. When we turn our vehicles on for nighttime driving, sometimes we forget to turn the switch all the way so that the headlights turn on. What then happens is you're driving around with only your parking lights on. Parking lights are for parking only, not for actual driving. Always make sure your headlights are fully turned on at night to provide accurate visibility for you and the other drivers around you.
The time when dusk occurs variants from state to state but as a general rule, when the sun begins to go down at the end of the day, go ahead and turn your lights on. Some cities and areas are so well-lighted that sometimes we forget to turn our lights on. If you are driving and someone approaching you from the opposite direction does not have their lights on, it is usually considered a courtesy to flash your high beams twice. This alerts the other driver to the fact that something is wrong with their lights. Usually, the driver will then check their lights and notice that they were off.
These couple of tips are just a few in increasing safety on the roadways. Hopefully, they cleared up a bit of the confusion as well!