Who should yield?

There’s one place where I run into a little dust-up with other drivers once in a while. I’m exiting the freeway at a place where other drivers are entering, all using the same lane. Those of us exiting need to merge to the right, while those entering need to merge to the left. There’s not much distance between the point where moving to the exit lane is possible and the exit lane ends.

The problem I run into is that a few of the entering drivers want to use that lane to immediately exit to get to a surface road, not to get onto the freeway. I refer to those as the “continuing” drivers. I believe they should yield to those of us wanting to exit. And most of them do. But some of these “continuing” drivers try to speed up and pass on the right, and thereby prevent me from getting into exit lane in time before the exit lane ends.

What do you think? Am I in the right in believing that the “continuing” drivers should yield (i.e. slow down and present a space) to those of us exiting? Or should we wanting to exit yield to them, even if it means we miss our exit?

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Is there a yield sign for the merging lane approaching the highway? If so, drivers in the merge lane must yield to all traffic regardless of where they are going. If not, it’s a little more difficult. In Maryland, drivers are expected to behave like responsible adults and not cut anyone off. It seems to me that drivers leaving the highway should have the right of way because forcing them to stay on the highway can stop them, and that is a good way to cause an accident.

You are right, George.

One more thing: call CHiPs and ask them.

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Dunno, but I have one for you.

A T intersection, city streets. Approaching the point where you have to turn L or R, there is a light. Opposite that is a drugstore parking lot entrance/exit, where the street would continue if it were a + type intersection.

When I’m a that light, in the left turn land, I find that cars exiting the parking lot think they have the right away, so I have to yield to them, them making a R or L turn, or going straight.

After a few times, I started to allow those to have the right of way, but I get annoyed, and feel they should yield.


edit: actually the cars exiting the parking lot have their own traffic light, so that shifts things. Didn’t realize that until recently.

We have that here, the ‘continuing’ drivers are using the entrance/exit ramp lane to get around a stop sign or stop light, typically. Should they let you in? Yes, but they’re already doing something to minimize their drive time, so I’m not surprised they aren’t doing the right thing.

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By the braking marks and the amount of broken glass and plastic parts debris from wrecked cars I see there, you make a good point. I don’t see any yield signs from my approach, but I seldom come at that intersection from the other direction so there may be one there.

Re: @BillRussell 's question about the T-intersection/parking lot, a similar configuration I face here. I just wait on any oncoming traffic from the parking lot area, until I know for sure whether they are turning or going straight. If those folks coming out of the parking lot area would signal their intentions, it would make driving easier and getting around town faster.

Bottom line: Since the folks coming from the parking light have the right to go straight, even though you’d expect most of them would be turning, I expect the law says we have to yield to them.

Well I just returned from a round trip to the Baltimore area and as in previous trips it amazes me that there wasn’t an accident in the 30+ hours of driving. The madness was at about the normal level this trip and that’s just about all that I was able to deal with. And there were several exits that connected to entrances as mentioned in the OP where often, entering drivers refuse to give even a second thought to someone struggling to move right to exit. It’s like so many situations where some drivers seem to feel some sort of entitlement by reason of birth order or which side they part their hair on to claim legal title to the path ahead of them regardless how hectic the traffic situation is. But laws must be written to accommodate reasonable people and there has always been and will always be those unreasonable jerks for everyone else to deal with. It sure was nice to pull into my driveway last night. While we have our share of jerks here the traffic is rarely congested and as a matter of fact while there are 2 stacked on/off ramps within 50 miles of me that can at rare times be difficult I rarely run into any traffic to deal with traveling from either direction.

Perhaps we should adopt Germany’s autobahn rules where it is absolutely forbidden to pass or even establish an overlap to a left lane car from a right lane. This effectively gives the left lane the right of way over the right lane and prevents a slow car from being trapped in the left lane by an endless stream of cars passing to the right.

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Can’t speak for all states but in NY, it has always been the law, absent any signs to the contrary, you always have to yield to cars coming from your right. As far as the T intersection opposite a supermarket, if you rleft turn lane has a green arrow, you have the right of way, if not, the traffic coming out of the supermarket does, if the street going left has two lanes going left, you have the right to turn into the left lane and they have the right to turn into the curb lane but you have to yield to the traffic coming straight out of the supermarket.

I’m inclined to agree, but that doesn’t matter. What matters is what action on your part will make the combined activities safer. You can’t control their actions, only yours.


The driver who doesn’t want a collision.

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I agree with you 100%! We certainly have the right to be very upset with the ignorant or on-purpose jerks but need to resist becoming one of them. I might scream nasty things at them that they can’t hear (hopefully without grandkids onboard) but let them go maim/kill someone else (or hopefully just themselves). I don’t like repeating myself but I have determined the only manual less read than the vehicle owner manual is the DMV driver manual. We just have to accept that in the real world right of way always goes to the bigger vehicle and LIVE (survive) with it.

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I agree with you. The entering drivers need to yield in the same way whether they’re actually entering or immediately exiting. I assume that you as the exiting driver have your turn signal on, of course.

That doesn’t always work, nor should. There’s a cloverleaf at I-93 and I-95 (aka 128) just north of Boston. That Cloverleaf sees over 70,000 cars a day. Cars entering on to I-93 from I-95 can’t yield for every car on I-93 that’s exiting onto I-95. If so I-95 would be stopped completely for miles and miles. Cars exiting I-93 onto I-95 is a line that extends all the way into Boston during the home commute. It’s stop and go with speeds not exceeding 40.

Cars merge (kinda interweaving). There are some jerks who don’t follow the unwritten rules, but for the most part it goes smoothly. And for MA drivers - that’s saying a lot.

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The ‘zipper’ is needed, matching speeds so folks can do what they need. But the folks on the ramp want to maximize their speed, it seems.

I’m very familiar with that intersection, and it illustrates a truth that’s common nationwide. There are countless cloverleafs and intersections that now carry many times the volume of traffic they were designed for. In urban areas, it’s often pretty much impossible to rebuild them, as there’s no real estate left.

Solution? There is none. All that one can hope for is that drivers be more respectful of one another and merge with grace. As you stated, Mike, that’s a lot to hope for in Massachusetts, especially around Boston. My limited experiences in other cities is that it’s common elsewhere too.

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I know that cloverleaf in Mass very well. I used to use it about 6 times a week. Now I simply exit at Rt 38 to avoid it, and use 38 to enter the highway heading the other way. Geroge_San_Jose1 after I stopped using the dangerous intersection I feel more relaxed on that commute. Worth considering a different route if possible.

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I drive in that gonzo traffic every day. I try to avoid it by getting to work at 6am and leaving at 2:30pm. It works most of the time. I can also work from home much of the time. If I had to do my 30 mile commute at 8 and 4:30, I’d just quit and stay home. I used to drive about 60 miles one way for a couple years in the same traffic. Fun work and good people, but that commute had me at wits end. Fortunately, the projects ended and there wasn’t more work immediately. The thing I dislike most about working isn’t job related. It’s the awful Baltimore/ Washington traffic.

It seems we have both found the answer to dealing with the rush hour madness is scheduling to avoid it But after a year or so I gave up on even that effort. When 2 to 3% of drivers are mentally and/or psychologically unfit to be on the road crowded roads can be a mad house. Good luck keeping your own sanity in that madness.

I only have to make it 5 more years until retirement. I can retire any time, but my benefactors gave me a couple of excellent opportunities to close out my career. One actually asked if I would be around until the end of the project in 2022. They can’t do that! I said I would, however, since I’m on great terms with program management from last experience.