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Old 08-23-2022, 08:07 PM   #1
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Secrets to merging?

Merging in traffic… reminds you many people aren’t accommodating.

I’ve found truckers are great. They “get it” and will make room for you, cars - not so much.

Here’s a situation I’ve already encountered twice:

I’m in the middle lane, needing to get in the left lane. I’m going 65 or so. Left lane is 70, with some folks going way over that.

You wait. I see a gap once this last car passes. Check both mirrors, check my rear view camera, next car in left lane is behind me.

I start merging left avoiding any sudden shifts.

Car that was behind in the left lane me sees I’m merging. Doesn’t slow down. If anything, speeds up?

So, I’m about 30% in the left lane. The guy in the left lane is still behind the rv, in my camera.

Now, he decides to run into the left lane next to me, partly riding the shoulder, and fly by me.

I would think, once someone has already crossed over to the left lane, the car behind you in the left lane slows down, so you can compete your merge. The guy was behind me when I started merging.

I can’t get up to 85 mph to match traffic driving 20 over the speed limit.

Usually this isn’t an issue 99% of the time. But driving through cities like Chicago…it is.

There are no “huge gaps” to merge into. And in the mirrors, you can see gaps, but you can’t judge if the guy behind you in your chosen merging lane is going 65 or 85.

So, what’s the secret?

And a finer point: in this situation if an RV/truck is already 30-50% merged into a lane, and the guy in that lane hits it because they don’t slowdown… whose at fault. And I’m assuming it’s the guy trying to merge…
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Old 08-23-2022, 08:20 PM   #2
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No secrets or tricks really. I learned that when first started driving OTR trucks and then buses decades ago. There are going to be jerks out there and there's really nothing much we can do ...other than doing our best to avoid them as much as possible. You did your best to find a hole or space large enough to change lanes. People generally don't like to get behind slower moving larger vehicles. As you say, it's not an issue 99% of the time (I actually think it's worse than that or more common so I'd say 75% of the time??)
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Old 08-23-2022, 08:45 PM   #3
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We usually travel at about 63 mph and occasionally need to pass some slower vehicles. I've learned over the years, especially on two lane highways, if you use your turn signal, you can literally see the front end of the car in the lane to left lift up as they accelerate.

Sooooo.....I wait until there is an opening to merge, start merging and as I'm entering the lane, I turn on my turn signal. I only leave it on for a second or two and then turn it off. My coach switches cameras with the turn signal but I prefer to use the rear camera, not the side camera to watch as I merge.

You'll still get the jerk who roars up behind you as they're idiots. If they try to go out on the shoulder, I just move closer to the left line blocking their access. I'm not trying to cause an issue, but I don't want them passing on the shoulder and throwing all the debris back at my coach. I call it "driver's education". They'll eventually go buy and make a gesture; I just blow them a kiss.
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Old 08-23-2022, 10:04 PM   #4
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Ive found that if you make the move into the other lane assertively rather than passively the jerks are less likely to make a move to cut you off.

And I agree that unfortunately signaling too soon opens you up to being cut off also.

Im not saying to drive aggressively, just be less tentative once you know you have plenty of room to make your move.
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Old 08-24-2022, 05:34 AM   #5
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Last year when crossing the country, there was a road sign, right lane closed 4 miles ahead.
Every car immediately went into the left lane and it was a crawl. I stayed in the right lane, along with the truckers. We did not stop until we got to the closure, 4 miles of empty lane. Who sits at a stop 4 miles back?
When we got there three cars would not let me in. It was a 50' lane closure. Once past the 50' it opened back up to two lanes. So these folks would be delayed 20 seconds. I finally just pushed my way in and the vehicle to the left rear of me started screaming and honking. WTH, you never had courtesy? I always allow people to pass taking turns. Note I am not talking about people who ignore the exit lane traffic and cut people off at the last minute.
Moral of the story, just keep going.
A few weeks ago, I exited a truck stop and was in the right turn lane to enter the highway. Some idiot in a pickup decided to pass me on the right grass as I was turning. Lots of idiots out there
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Old 08-24-2022, 06:00 AM   #6
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Avoid places and times where heavy traffic is a problem. People make mistakes when they drive like they do at any other time. They are paying attention to something else, another car or situation that is a bigger concern or seems to be, or just don't have their timing down. For every driver you pass who you think is an idiot, there's a driver out there that thinks that you're an idiot for something you did. Ever forget to signal or forget to turn it off? Cross the line unintentionally? Have to slam the brakes because it turns out you aren't going to make that light? You have become what you beheld. Heck, despite my absolutely pristine driving record, the co-pilot feels that she has to call audibles on a regular basis. If there's any secret, it's to drive like you're the only one that cares about you and your vehicle. In fact, don't pretend.
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Old 08-24-2022, 06:17 AM   #7
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I don't think there's a secret. You're doing it right - it's the other person who is driving dangerously.

If you are moving into a clear space in a lane and you haven't created an unsafe situation by the manner in which you've made your move, it is up to the other driver to adjust to the changing conditions. Drivers have a "duty to avoid", which is not voided by them not liking that someone is making a legal lane change. Passing you after you're already partially in the lane should get them a ticket and hopefully a lecture - if a cop is around.

I do my best to move into big spaces where there's plenty of room for everyone to adjust, and I try not to move in front of people who are going significantly faster than me. That being said, sometimes traffic density and timing of exits means one has to be a bit more aggressive about making a hole for oneself. In those situations I will have my signal on well ahead to let folks know that I need to get over. Hopefully someone is helpful. If not, at least there should be no surprise when I safely take the next space, even if it isn't a large one.

Edit to add that if another driver wants to create an unsafe situation, I will pause and let them clear the area. I may be "in the right" but at 20K lbs I'm not very nimble and I don't want to run the risk of an accident with someone whom I'd rather never see again.
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Old 08-24-2022, 06:17 AM   #8
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If I have to, with my train horns in the motor compartment, I get their attention quickly. While their looking around for a train, I make my move. works 80% of the time.
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Old 08-24-2022, 06:36 AM   #9
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We do not have a class A, but we have a 45 ft toy-hauler and with the Ram we are around 62 feet. But I have a simple question, "The guy in the left lane is still behind the rv, in my camera."
I do not use my rearview camera while driving, just for backing in, is there a reason people check the rearview camera while changing lanes?
I just use my side mirrors, and when an opening is there, I move over. My theory is that the time you take to check the rearview camera, you lose that amount of time to move over. Be it is only 3-5 seconds; it is time that I use to move over.

Now some will say it is different with a Class A, but I drove a prison bus in Ohio for 8 years, and we did not have any rearview cameras. I drove all the big cities in Ohio, country roads, in/out of the sallyports of the prisons.
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Old 08-24-2022, 06:53 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hamm2018 View Post
... is there a reason people check the rearview camera while changing lanes? ...
36' Class A here. Can't speak for others, but I have my camera screen on the dash between the instrument cluster and the side window, so it is right in my line of sight. I am comfortable using mirrors for my primary information so the backup cam is a split second eye sweep just to confirm.

Our rig also has side cams that activate with the turn signal. I haven't found them to be especially useful thus far.
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Old 08-24-2022, 06:55 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hamm2018 View Post
We do not have a class A, but we have a 45 ft toy-hauler and with the Ram we are around 62 feet. But I have a simple question, "The guy in the left lane is still behind the rv, in my camera."
I do not use my rearview camera while driving, just for backing in, is there a reason people check the rearview camera while changing lanes?
I just use my side mirrors, and when an opening is there, I move over. My theory is that the time you take to check the rearview camera, you lose that amount of time to move over. Be it is only 3-5 seconds; it is time that I use to move over.

Now some will say it is different with a Class A, but I drove a prison bus in Ohio for 8 years, and we did not have any rearview cameras. I drove all the big cities in Ohio, country roads, in/out of the sallyports of the prisons.
The rear view camera verifies that the car is in fact behind you, and you can see how big the gap is
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Old 08-24-2022, 06:56 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hamm2018 View Post
We do not have a class A, but we have a 45 ft toy-hauler and with the Ram we are around 62 feet. But I have a simple question, "The guy in the left lane is still behind the rv, in my camera."
I do not use my rearview camera while driving, just for backing in, is there a reason people check the rearview camera while changing lanes?
I just use my side mirrors, and when an opening is there, I move over. My theory is that the time you take to check the rearview camera, you lose that amount of time to move over. Be it is only 3-5 seconds; it is time that I use to move over.

Now some will say it is different with a Class A, but I drove a prison bus in Ohio for 8 years, and we did not have any rearview cameras. I drove all the big cities in Ohio, country roads, in/out of the sallyports of the prisons.

I keep the rear view camera on so I can see if the toad's sides a clear for changing lanes. The side cameras and blind spot mirrors tell me if the coach is clear, but not if the toad is clear. Just like it would for a trailer, it tells me if I've cleared that vehicle I just passed or if when I want to change lanes there is someone coming up too fast to get over safely.
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Old 08-24-2022, 07:00 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bpu699 View Post
I’ve found truckers are great. They “get it” and will make room for you, cars - not so much.
...
So, what’s the secret?
...
Wait for a truck to come along.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bpu699 View Post
I can’t get up to 85 mph to match traffic driving 20 over the speed limit.
I was taught this in Driver's Ed: If I can't accelerate to the speed of the prevailing traffic, or the "hole" is not large enough for me to pull left, pass, and pull right before impeding the prevailing traffic, then I don't pass.

Hours of coach-and-toad driving between New England and Florida (including the urban parts of NJ, MD, DC and VA) confirmed this principle.

I agree with those who rely on the mirrors, rather than the rearview camera. The one on my coach was so wide-angle that you could not use it for driving. I became fairly proficient at estimating relative speeds and distances of surrounding vehicles.
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Old 08-24-2022, 07:15 AM   #14
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I am still stuck on why a motor home needs to be in the left lane holding up traffic. I never want to be that guy.
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