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6 steps to merge safely and avoid personal injury

On Behalf of | Jan 2, 2024 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

Indiana highways often contain heavy traffic. High speeds and other issues, such as driver distraction or intoxication, create a recipe for disaster. Merging safely is a key to avoiding personal injury, which may occur if a collision takes place.

You’ve probably witnessed it or been involved in it on the highway. A vehicle is approaching the highway and trying to merge, and a driver in the moving lane is blocking the merger by accelerating or decelerating to prevent the other driver from entering the flow of traffic. Learning how to merge safely increases your chances of avoiding collision.

Use these tips to improve merging safely and avoid personal injury

Merging into traffic on a busy highway can be tricky and dangerous. Keep these tips in mind to improve safety:

  • Stay focused and alert, without distractions.
  • Make sure you engage the proper turn signal well in advance.
  • Do your best to match traffic speed before merging.
  • Always check your blind spot and pause to make sure the path is clear.
  • Never merge over a solid line.
  • Find a space with three to five seconds between vehicles to merge.

The practice known as a zipper merger is the safest way to execute a merging maneuver. Contrary to the popular belief that it’s best to merge as soon as possible in an on-ramp, it is much safer to ride out the lane to the end, increasing your speed as you go and implementing the safety tips mentioned in the list.

The other side of a safe merger on an Indiana highway

There will be many times when you are not in the vehicle merging onto an Indiana highway but behind the wheel of a car that is already in the line of moving traffic. Your actions are equally important to helping vehicles in the on-ramp to merge safely onto the highway.

If it’s apparent that a merging vehicle is yielding the right-of-way, try to safely change lanes or allow the vehicle to merge. Avoid road rage at all costs. Remember that all drivers in this state must adhere to Indiana traffic laws. Do your best to avoid collision, but also know where to seek support if another driver’s negligence causes you personal injury.

If an unsafe driver causes a collision during a merger

If a collision occurs during a merger or at any other time while traveling on an Indiana highway, it’s best to obtain medical attention as soon as possible. It’s also wise to document the incident by taking photographs (or having someone take them for you if you’re unable) and obtaining the other driver’s contact and insurance information. When driver negligence is a causal factor in an Indiana collision, state law enables anyone who has suffered personal injury to seek restitution in civil court.