When I Enter the Right Lane of a Controlled Access Highway

Last Edited: November 10, 2016 // by TruckerScape, Inc.

Basics

On the open road (typically on interstates or major highways with two or more lanes in each direction, in sparse traffic, usually in the countryside), drivers can easily spot my truck on most entrance ramps.  Personal vehicle drivers can in most cases maneuver around my truck so I have room to merge.  Because my truck’s acceleration is so slow, they can get past me in the right lane before I reach the end of the ramp or move left and leave the right lane open for me.

Truck drivers also have a big speed advantage over me and can either get past me before I reach the end of the ramp or move left for me.  Occasionally a truck driver in the right lane may be trapped by traffic to his left and have to slow down and let me merge in front of him.  If I sense potential contention with a truck I will slow down to delay my entrance into the right lane and/or drive on the shoulder until the truck passes by or I have a clear merge opening.

When I Enter City Freeways and Highways in Dense Traffic

In dense traffic drivers in the right lane are less likely to change lanes for me.  Vehicles alongside or close to them may not permit a safe lane change.  This constraint is common in heavier traffic such as on city freeways.  Due to my truck’s slow acceleration, I am dependent on highway drivers in the right lane to make room for me, and many do so.  I can help by slowing my entrance to let a vehicle pass by, or even stop if I anticipate contention with a vehicle alongside my truck.  Sometimes the right shoulder is wide enough that I can run on it briefly to “time” a merge opening.  You can help if you spot my truck or even another personal vehicle on an entrance ramp ahead and can maneuver out of the way.

At much slower speeds such as slow-and-go or stop-and-go, merging is easier since either of us can stop.  Either I can stop and let you get ahead of me or you can stop and let me merge ahead of you.

Takeaways

When on the open road on a controlled access highway, clear the right lane for trucks entering from the right.

When in the right lane on a controlled access highway in dense traffic, if you see a truck about to enter the right lane ahead, consider letting the driver merge in front of you.

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