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  • Merging traffic on Interstate

    Got a question, but here's the background scenario first:

    There is a junction of two interstate highways where the entry lanes from one interstate join the lanes of the other interstate (but they don't merge in; they run continuous).

    Are motorists required by law to yield to the traffic coming from the entry lanes (as in slowing down, speeding up or moving over)? I agree that it is always a courteous thing to do, but do the yield laws apply when the entry lanes don't merge into the current through lanes but remain continuous through lanes also? Example would be when you have two lanes and then two entry lanes on right and then the road becomes four lanes.

    Thanks!
    It is better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt.

  • #2
    This would probably depend state by state. Be more specific so you can get a better answer.

    For instance, who's to say which 2 lanes are the ones merging? Aren't both merging together into a new roadway? If both yielded, who would be clear to go? The states may have defined this but that would depend on each state and the federal codes have no traffic section.
    Last edited by eaker995; 12-16-2014, 11:50 AM.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by eaker995 View Post
      This would probably depend state by state. Be more specific so you can get a better answer.

      For instance, who's to say which 2 lanes are the ones merging? Aren't both merging together into a new roadway? If both yielded, who would be clear to go? The states may have defined this but that would depend on each state and the federal codes have no traffic section.
      That's a good point.

      I live in Virginia, so that would be my basis for asking.
      It is better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt.

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      • #4
        Don't know about your state in particular, but the through traffic has already established themselves on the highway. It's up to the person merging to do so safely, slowing, yielding and even stopping if necessary to do so. The through traffic has no obligation to yield or slow down for entering traffic UNLESS traffic signs direct otherwise

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        • #5
          From what he describes, imagine highway "30" and interstate "40" merging together at some point. Each a 2 lane highway merging together into a 4 lane highway. If I'm understanding correct.

          Using this example, he is wondering which, if any, vehicles are required to yield. Imagine if you will, as the 4 lanes merge, a car in the 3rd lane wants to catch the next exit so want to move right. Are those vehicles obligated to yield as the lanes merge together?

          If the visual I get is correct, I would say none are obligated to yield, as long as no signs state so, due to each of the highways already having established lanes, none of the lanes are closing, and all move in the same direction of travel after the merge. That's only based on the experience and knowledge I have but I don't work traffic often so take that as it is.

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          • #6

            That sounds like a very tame version of the old Northern Virginia "mixing bowl" in Springfield. Thankfully, they have upgraded it significantly in recent years -- but it used to be horrible for crashes. The original design was akin to a "Figure 8" NASCAR track.

            The comments above reflect my personal opinion as a private citizen, ordinary motorist and all-around good guy.

            The aforementioned advice should not be construed to represent any type of professional opinion, legal counsel or other type of instruction with regard to traffic laws, judicial proceedings or official agency policy.

            ------------------------------------------------

            "Ignorance on fire is hotter than knowledge on ice."

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            • #7
              Originally posted by VA Dutch View Post

              That sounds like a very tame version of the old Northern Virginia "mixing bowl" in Springfield. Thankfully, they have upgraded it significantly in recent years -- but it used to be horrible for crashes. The original design was akin to a "Figure 8" NASCAR track.
              Yes I've been through the Springfield interchange; it is a crazy one for sure.
              It is better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt.

              Comment

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