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Learn how to correctly merge onto and off a freeway, motorway, or limited access highways.

How to Get ON/OFF a Freeway, Motorway, or Highway that is Obstructed

https://youtu.be/KjjNTdXg3Bg

Closed Caption

Introduction

Hi there smart drivers, Rick with Smart Drive Test talking to you today about getting on the highway or freeway or merging onto a multi-lane highways. You can see behind me here this is the on-ramp section onto a highway 97 North here in the Okanagan Valley. And you can see that it's obstructed by the overpass and the berm here. I had a comment from Avi Rao and he asked me to give more clarification, because when he was getting onto the freeway and his vision was blocked by trees, fixed objects, and overpasses such as the one behind me here. And so what we're going to do today, we're going to go out on the highway and show you how to merge onto the highway when there are trees and obstructions.

And it's important when you're merging onto the highway or freeway to match the speed of the vehicles in front of you on the on ramp or look as far down the freeways as you can see to see how fast the traffic flow is. But it's important, that when the on-ramp transitions to the acceleration lane that you put your signal on and communicate to other road users, because getting onto a freeway is somewhat of a team event and as long as you put your signal on and communicate to other traffic that you wish to merge onto the freeway, they're going to help you out. So today we're going to give you a bit more information about that. Stick around we'll be right back.

[OPENING CREDITS & MUSIC] Hi there smart driver, welcome back. Rick with Smart Drive Test talking to you today about how to get on a limited-access highway, interstate. or freeway. They're pretty much all the same. With obstructions that prevent you from seeing the roadway when you're getting out onto the freeway. I had a comment from Avi Rao - he was having some difficulties with obstructions that were blocking his view and here you can see that this vehicle in front of us is not accelerating to the highway speed. So we're just staying back from that traffic and oftentimes that's what you're going to have to do. And you want to have your signal on all the way out onto the freeway, from the time that you get onto the acceleration lane, because if you ask other drivers nicely i.e. your signal... your turn signal, they will move over to the left hand lane or they will slow to create a gap for you.

Because oftentimes, when you're coming out in the acceleration lane, you're accelerating and if they simply let off the throttle a little bit, oftentimes that will be enough to create a gap for you to move into. So when you get on the acceleration lane, you want to either do the posted speed limit or the flow of traffic, whichever is less. And as I said, it is important that you communicate well with other traffic because if you communicate with other drivers and ask them, via your turn signal, they will often either slow enough to create a gap for you to move out onto the freeway or they will move over to the left-hand lane. For those of you in Australia and the UK they will move over to the right-hand lane for you.

Turn Signals - Wish to move over...

And remember what I always say about turn signals: "turn signals are to indicate to other traffic that you wish to move over. It is a request to move over, not that you are moving over. All too often in "social driving" you'll see people - they're already moving laterally and then they put their turn signal on. It's just kind of a courtesy. They put one flash on, which doesn't help! You you need at least three flashes on a turn signal for other drivers:

1) the first signal gets their attention;

2) the second signal allows them to locate you;

3) and the third signal allows them to take some sort of action.

So you need at least three flashes on a signal before other traffic will help you out. If you ask nicely and give them enough time, most of the time, other drivers will help you out. They're not going to be aggressive and try and force you off the road and that sort of thing. So blind on-ramps: get the vehicle up to the posted speed limit, or the traffic flow, whichever is less. And if you can't see the traffic, look as far down as you can see because at some point the on-ramp is going to transition to the acceleration lane, and when you get out onto the acceleration lane you at that point willl be able to determine what the traffic speed is at that point. So look forward, look as far down the road as you can see. And you can determine the speed of the flow of traffic or the posted speed limit whichever is less. Now what we're going to do is we're gonna go up here and we're going to get off the freeway or off the highway - this is a limited access highway, it's not a freeway.

There's a deceleration lane and then the off ramp. Now when you get off on the deceleration lane, do not slow down on the highway until you get off onto the deceleration lane, unless the traffic is backed up on the deceleration and out onto the highwat, which is not very often. But wait until you get into the deceleration lane before slowing because if you slow down on the highway or freeway you are creating an unpredictable action and potentially other drivers won't know what you're doing and could potentially cause a crash or a near conflict which could result in a crash. So stay on the freeway, as you can see in the speedo camera here, get off the freeway until you get fully into the deceleration lane - do not start slowing down and you saw that the truck in front of me did exactly the same thing. The driver didn't start slowing down until he or she got completely into the deceleration lane and then once he or she got into the deceleration lane slowed down.

United States Interstates

You can see that they're starting to slow down here. I know on some interstates in the United States that the deceleration lanes and the acceleration lanes are quite short. So you're gonna have to watch that as well. The other.... I have to move forward until we can see. The other note of caution on interstates-- off-ramps and on-ramps - some times the deceleration and the acceleration lanes can sometimes be the same - one in the same as you can see in the image here. And those are pretty dangerous. They're beginning to eliminate those. Those are rare now because they were deemed not safe and they're definitely not safe and there's a reason why. So just a note of caution on those. Now again, we're going out onto the freeway here--the highway--the on-ramp just went to the acceleration lane and we accelerate to the posted speed limit. I've got my signal on, now I'm checking traffic and I'm just concentrating on getting my speed up. And I'm doing the posted speed limit of 90 kilometers an hour 55 miles an hour. I stay on to the end of the ramp and I move over onto the highway.

The traffic behind me didn't have to adjust because i got my speed up to the highway speed before I moved out onto the highway. Now just going back to what I was saying previously. The acceleration lane and the deceleration lane can be one-and-the same! So one end of it exits and the other end is the on-ramp onto the highway. So just take note of those as they are dangerous. As well as you can see here in the dash cam on the right are continuity lines. If continuity lines are on your left, the lane you're in is either going to end or it's going to exit. And continuity lines are half as long and twice as wide as normal lane dividing markings. So take note of the continuity lines. And again, if you're in a lane that has continuity lines on the driver's side the lane that you're in is either going to exit or it's going to end and in the case of a on-ramp it's going to end and you're going to have to merge over onto the highway. Quick review of entering and exiting a freeway. It's important that you get up to speed when you're entering a freeway. And know when the on-ramp transitions to the acceleration lane.

And often in North America we know that because the yellow lines transition to white lines. And now you're on the acceleration lane - if you have traffic in front of you you're going to have to match the speed of the traffic in front of you, but if there isn't traffic in front of you try to get up to the posted speed limit on the acceleration lane and look for your gap as soon as you get on the acceleration lane. Put your signal on because as I tell students all the time, signals are to tell other traffic that you wish to move over not that you are moving over. And if you communicate to other traffic, it becomes a bit of a team event and the other traffic on the freeway will help you move out onto the freeway, either by slowing down and making a gap for you or they'll move over to the other lane and allow you to merge out onto the freeway. So it's important that you communicate! Same thing when you get off the freeway - do not reduce your speed until you get into the deceleration lane because if you slow down out on the freeway you are now an impediment to other traffic and could potentially cause a crash. So make sure that you don't slow down until you get into the deceleration lane.

When you're on the deceleration lane and go to the off ramp, again which transitions from white lines to yellow lines - pay attention to all the signs there. The cautionary signs - especially if you're not familiar with that roadway, so you know to slow down and whatever the speed is because there could be sharp curves and whatnots on the off-ramps or you could be coming up to a stop sign as you saw in the video there.

Question for my smart drivers:

 

Leave a comment down in the comment section there. All that helps out the new drivers learning how to drive after they get their license.

I'm Rick with Smart Drive Test - thanks very much for watching. If you like what you see here share, subscribe, leave a comment down in the comment section there. As well, hit that thumbs up button. Check out all the videos here on the channel if you're working towards your license or starting a career as a truck or bus driver - lots of great information here. As well, head over to my website - lots of great information over there as well. And stick around to the end of the video, links to other videos and the link to my website. Thanks again for watching - good luck on your road test. And remember, pick the best answer not necessarily the right answer. Have a great day. Bye now.

Blooper

Question my smart drivers... what is a question for my smart drivers? [DEEP INHALATION]