Merging and Exiting Motorways Safely

The on-ramps and off-ramps of busy motorways can be intimidating for drivers, especially those who are new to them. However, when armed with the proper understanding of merging onto and exiting motorways can be accomplished confidently and, most importantly, safely.

Read on as we discuss tips for safely merging onto and exiting from motorways.

Merging onto a motorway

DRIVE Driving School slip road

Image source: © State Farm (CC BY 2.0)

Use your mirrors and check blind spots

Observation is a key part of safe driving and it is no different here. Before merging onto a motorway, it is crucial to use your mirrors and check your blind spots. Ensure that there are no vehicles swiftly approaching from behind, while also remaining aware of any vehicles that may be in your blind spots.

Use the slip road to speed up

As you approach the end of the slip road, gradually increase your speed until your pace is matching that of the traffic on the motorway. By doing so, merging into the motorway should not disrupt the flow of traffic and create unnecessary risk.

Signal and check mirrors again

Once your speed matches that of the motorway traffic, it is vital to signal and use your mirrors before transitioning into the left hand lane. By doing so, you will not only let other drivers be aware of your intentions, but will also be able to know of any vehicles that could potentially be obstructing the lane. Ensure that there is a gap between yourself and the car in front as well.

Exiting from a motorway

DRIVE Driving School Motorway

Plan ahead

Before you exit the motorway, you should be planning ahead to ensure it is safe. Through observation, check the appropriate lane is safe to move to and do so. Make sure to do this in advance, in order to avoid any rushed movements that could create hazards.

Signal and mirrors

As you get closer to the exit, be sure to signal, to allow others to be aware of your intentions, and check your mirrors before reducing speed, to ensure a safe gap between yourself and the vehicle behind you.

Reduce Your Speed

Ensure that your speed is reduced gradually, in order to prevent creating unnecessary risk to yourself and the cars behind you.

Follow the road signs

Finally, to ensure a safe exit, use the road signs and exit markings to confirm that you are in the correct lane and using the appropriate exit ramp. By sticking to these guidelines, you shouldn’t have any issues merging and leaving motorways!