How to merge into traffic without being in danger on the street?

If there is one thing that every first-time driver struggles with, it is merging into traffic. The key word for this is precedence. Omega Driving School ensures that you are safe and confident on any road and in any circumstance. Join us to understand how it’s done.

Every person who gets behind the wheel, at some point on the road will ask themselves “When is it my turn to pass?”. The answer to this question is based on case law and common sense.

In other words, there are well-defined rules that establish the correct way to merge into traffic, but beyond that, the priority is always to avoid creating risky situations on the road.

What are these road regulations, where can I find them, are they the same everywhere, what do you mean by “common sense” when merging into traffic?

If you want to find out how to properly merge into heavy traffic, don’t miss this article. In it, you will find everything you need to know about vehicle precedence.

A small clarification before starting. Taking into account that in the street there are several elements, apart from vehicles, such as pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists, truck drivers, etc., we are going to call all these elements: Users.


Regulations for merging into traffic


The related rules in Quebec are written and perfectly defined in this link. We will not repeat what is already written. In the following text we will try to synthesize the information and concentrate on the precedence of passage.

Is the law the same all over the world? Certainly not, but when it comes to merging into traffic there is one rule that most countries in the world share: “At intersections, priority is given to the vehicle coming from the right.”

Based on this rule, the following is established:

  • The “Yield” sign obliges the driver to yield to vehicles traveling on the approaching roadway.
  • Vehicles traveling on main roads have priority even if coming from the left.
  • With the combination of “Yield” and “Roundabout” signs, the driver must slow down and give way to all vehicles entering the traffic circle from the left.
  • When turning left, priority should be given to vehicles arriving in the opposite direction.
  • Fire department, health service, police and customs service vehicles that announce themselves with blue light and alternate audible alarm always have priority.
  • A driver seeking to merge into traffic from a curb must wait for all vehicles to pass, without exception.
  • Facing crosswalks without traffic regulation, the driver must give priority to pedestrians or anything similar to a vehicle.
  • A driver who is about to merge into traffic must not obstruct other road users, who have priority.
  • At intersections, the vehicle traveling in reverse must yield to other vehicles.

Common sense to merge into traffic


As mentioned in the introduction, apart from the established regulations, there are some common sense principles to implement when you take the wheel to merge into traffic.

To explain this in the best possible way, imagine the road and vehicles as people on the street. Who are the privileged people on the street? The disabled, the elderly and pregnant women.

These people are given the right of way because they are, so to speak, more important than others. Now how do you take this to the road?

Giving way to smaller users

When merging into traffic, drivers must always yield the right-of-way to any user smaller than themselves. For example: pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists.

Precedence of the largest users

In the same way, it is also prudent to yield to stronger users such as trucks or buses, because in this case it is the vehicle driver who is at risk.

In general, the driver must yield the right-of-way to all road users. It is with similar vehicles that precedence may be exercised or observed, based on the conditions mentioned in the previous point.

How to judge the space for merging into traffic from the right?

You have sufficient space to merge safely into traffic when no other road user has to take action to avoid your vehicle.

In conclusion, the driver who intends to merge into traffic must ensure that his able to perform the maneuver without creating danger or hindering other road users, taking into account the position, distance and direction.

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