On-Ramp Etiquette - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 09-15-2012, 12:33 PM Thread Starter
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On-Ramp Etiquette

What do you guys think about on-ramp etiquette? I'm sure it's the law everywhere that vehicles trying to merge from an on-ramp into the traffic flow are required to yield if they are unable to do so, yet a lot of them seem to think it's the traffic that's supposed to yield to them and they get all torqued off when they can't merge.

I've even seem some not slowing down at all and driving on the shoulder, flipping off the other cars that "wouldn't let them in." At the time, the car that "wouldn't let them in" was driving at a reasonable speed, yet had another car right next to it in the left lane and another car immediately behind it. Moving left or slowing down wasn't an option even if that driver had wanted to do either.

Totally different situation on a 4-lane slab at rush hour: I'm talking about a standard 2-lane Interstate with moderate traffic.

Bottom line is the vehicle on the on-ramp is required to yield, but when I drive, I make it a point to not start passing another vehicle when I see an on-ramp approaching. It is, of course, totally legal for me to go ahead and be engaged in passing another vehicle just as an on-ramp vehicle is attempting to merge, but I try not to do so. I think it's some bug that was put in my head 35 years ago during Driver's Training in high school.

#1, it's unnecessary. I can wait what amounts to a few seconds to clear the interchange before I "have" to pass the other car. #2, I never know if the car I'm passing in the right lane is going to freak out when bullied by an on-ramp car that won't yield and try to pull over into my lane without even seeing me if I'm in its blind spot.

Unless there's another car right in front of me, from the minute I start my "approach" down an on-ramp, I'm looking in my left rear-view and can usually tell about halfway down the ramp if merging looks likely. If it looks good, I try to get up to highway speed. If not, I slow my ass down and wait.

I don't think most people merging from on-ramps even bother looking in their rear-views until they're up to speed and already on the "straightaway" portion of the ramp and those are pretty short here in Missouri. I noticed Wisconsin has really long on-ramps, even for simple, low-traffic interchanges so maybe it's just a Missouri thing. Thus ends my rant. Somebody get me some more coffee!!!

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post #2 of 13 Old 09-15-2012, 01:27 PM
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You are correct in the law, that it is the merging traffic that has to give way to oncoming traffic....plain and simple......it's not an every man for themselves situation like some think. If you can't safely merge it's up to you to slow and wait for it to become safe.
If the on coming traffic wants to slow to make it easier for you that is their perogative. They have the right of way.

If I see someone who is genuinely trying to merge and is having a semi difficult time or is very close to getting up to speed and is being gracious about it, yes then I will slow to allow them in, but if you don't even look for a space to appear...sorry buddy, back of the line!! Even while I'm riding I do this but take my life in my hands and decide on an idividual basis if the risk is worth it. Some folks for a better word are just braindead when this is concerned! I have riden right up to their window and honked the horn at them, then they realize what has happened and dart to the shoulder...but this is a stupid move to make. I agree.....but sometimes....if I had a hammer...I'd....in my younger much stupider days I used to wear big buckles on my MX boots, they would get dragged down the door or the entire length of the car when things like this happened......extremely stupid yes I agree but I was young and stupid way back when.....now I'm old and semi stupid.....depending upon what day it is.....lol.

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post #3 of 13 Old 09-17-2012, 02:19 PM
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I have a certain left turn going home from work - two lanes make the turn, the left is thru-traffic and the right lane is an access for a few businesses, then ends. Many times, a lack-wit is in the right-hand left-turn lane, and tries to pass us in the left lane. I really hate that. "Passing on the right" is a ticketable offence. If I can, I throttle up to keep the idiot from passing me, depending on traffic ahead of me. Still, can be a dangerous situation on the KLR!
Once in my old 4X4 truck, I had an idiot lady try to outrun and pass me - I kept going. No cars behind me, she had plenty room to merge in. She was screaming something incoherent (not that I cared), and was off the lane and bouncing along the dirt.... A power pole getting very close.
The road twitch finally backed down and merged behind me.
Had a stupid 'lady' cut me off and pass nearly hitting me from the right lane once when I was on my KLR - I backed down as she seemed intent on killing me. I let her know of my displeasure - She either heard me or saw my face - the danged fool shot me the bird! A couple Deputies in the roadside diner right there, but I figured they were more interested in eating their BBQ than taking a report for reckless driving.
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post #4 of 13 Old 09-17-2012, 04:19 PM
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Interesting note: several of the state laws I've read say that if you are speeding, you lose any claim to right of way. So if you were speeding, and Joe Blow wants to merge, he would have right of way.

Example: Virginia Code ß 46.2-823
The driver of any vehicle traveling at an unlawful speed shall forfeit any right-of-way which he might otherwise have under this article.
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post #5 of 13 Old 09-17-2012, 05:41 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by thetable View Post
Interesting note: several of the state laws I've read say that if you are speeding, you lose any claim to right of way. So if you were speeding, and Joe Blow wants to merge, he would have right of way.

Example: Virginia Code ß 46.2-823
Interesting statute, indeed. I need to see if that one's on the books here in Missouri.

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post #6 of 13 Old 09-17-2012, 05:47 PM
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Regardless of the law it works both ways for me. If I'm getting on the highway I will speed up or slow down my merge according to traffic. If I'm on the highway I'll do the same or get in the left lane for someone getting on. Common problem around here is folks STOPPING at the end of the ramp trying to get on.
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post #7 of 13 Old 09-18-2012, 08:30 AM
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I drive heavy truck and see a lot of stupid driving. Biggest problem is people trying to merge with traffic at 80km/h when the limit is 100. Why, I wonder, why art thou this way?
Also, as common courtesy to other drivers you -should- make room for people trying to merge, unless there's a yield sign, of course.

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post #8 of 13 Old 10-02-2012, 09:54 PM
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I used to drive for a living. I got tired of that, now I teach people to drive big trucks.
I'll sum up much of the "merging" issue in one word TAILGATING.
Here is what happens, vehicle comes off the ramp and is looking for a spot to merge into but every vehicle in the right lane is so close to the one in front of it that there is literally no where to merge into.
If everyone started leaving a little room between vehicles, merging would become so much easier.
And then there are those drivers that don't even consider that they will have to merge until they are at the very end of the ramp, there's nothing that can be done for those people, they couldn't merge correctly if the interstate was completely empty.
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post #9 of 13 Old 10-03-2012, 06:25 AM
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Here's how to do it in cities in Canada, eh? :
If entering the highway:
1. Roar down the on ramp.
2. Hammer on the brakes and come to a near stop.
3. Putt along with your signal on, saying, "they should put up lights"

If on the highway:
1. Everyone pile in the left-most lane because "I am a fast driver and this is the fast lane."
2. Faster drivers - drive in the right lane because it's mostly empty.
3. Ignore other road users trying to enter the road way, if you even see them while sending that text.
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post #10 of 13 Old 10-03-2012, 11:52 PM
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Depends on the state... NE has a big yellow "merge" sign at the end of the on ramp. SD has red/white "yield" signs on the interstate side before the on ramp. WY is different too... Laws are not standard state to state.


If the Lights are a Flashin', STAY OFF the tracks!!! It might be me at the Throttle...
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