How many times have you been driving down the highway looked over and saw a driver attempting to merge onto the interstate that has come to a complete stop? This timid driver, stopping on the entrance ramp is destined to cause an accident. Did you know that more accidents are caused by slow drivers, than fast drivers? We are talking confident drivers, not reckless drivers. If you are one of those drivers that come to a stop on an entrance ramp or turn your head around to look backwards for oncoming traffic, you are a danger to yourself, to the passengers in your car and to other drivers on the road. If you turn your head to look to the left as you enter the interstate, your vision is completely removed from the direction you are heading. If the driver in front of you panics for whatever reason and decides to come to a complete stop, there's a good possibility that by the time you get your head back around, you will have insufficient time to stop and may slam into the vehicle in front of you.
Blind spot mirrors.
One of the most important steps you can take to safely merge onto an interstate highway is to use blind-spot mirrors to spot oncoming traffic. Blind-spot mirrors can be purchased for about $12, at any automotive store, or Walmart-type store. Sticking blind spot mirrors on your car’s outdoor mirrors eliminates the need to turn your head and look backwards. Yes, they take some getting used to, but if it will save your life or the life of a family member, it’s well worth the effort. Once you get used to blind-spot mirrors, you will wonder how you ever drove a car without them.
What is the best place to mount blind spot mirrors?
Some drivers say that the best place to mount blind spot mirrors is in the lower left corner, while others say the lower right corner, or inside corner is best. For 20 years now I have been mounting blind spot mirrors on all of my cars and trucks. I personally have experimented with where to mount blind-spot mirrors. I found that the lower inside or right side of the mirror works best for me. That's because blind-spot mirrors are small and the objects in them are small, and I can see them better when the mirror is mounted closer to me. I only use the blind-spot mirror to see objects not visible with the full-size externally mounted mirror. Also, I'm simply trying to see a vehicle that is in my blind spot, and my biggest blind spot is just to the left of my head, close to my vehicle. Therefore, after mounting the blind spot mirrors on the left side, not being satisfied and removing them, I came to the conclusion that the lower right side is the best place to mount blind spot mirrors.
So what is the proper way to merge onto an interstate highway?
The most important thing to remember when merging onto an interstate is that as you proceed on the road at the end of the entrance ramp, your speed should be matching that of the traffic. This means that you may have to accelerate sharply to gain sufficient speed. Remember that the traffic on the highway has the right-of-way. Do not assume that they are going to move over for you. Besides that, even if they wanted to they may not have the ability to move over because another vehicle might be to their left that you cannot see. This is especially true with larger vehicles like trucks, motor homes, and buses. In fact, a big truck may have multiple vehicles to their left making it impossible for them to move over.
As a courtesy to other drivers, especially large vehicles like trucks, motor homes, buses, or cars pulling travel trailers, you should move to the left whenever possible so that they can safely merge onto the highway. These types of large vehicles do not have the ability to accelerate like a car. It takes a lot longer for this type of vehicle to come up to speed so that they can merge safely matching the speed of the traffic.
And finally, pay attention! Distracted drivers cause a tremendous amount of carnage each year on the highways. You can have perfectly mounted blind-spot mirrors and accelerate your vehicle to match the speed of oncoming traffic at the end of the ramp perfectly, and still be involved in an accident if you are on the cell phone, or attempting to send or receive a text! If you are the operator of a vehicle that is easily distracted by conversations with passengers, merging onto the interstate highway is a good time to request a moment of silence, so that you can give the most important task at hand your undivided attention.
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