Driver Knowledge Tests

Lane merging rules

Merging is where you join an existing lane of traffic or where two lanes become one. It’s best practice to signal for at least 3 seconds before merging and to merge at the same speed as the traffic you are merging into (i.e. don’t force other road users to brake or swerve out of the way). Check over your shoulder to ensure there are no other road users in your path (cyclists and motorcyclists are difficult to see). Make the manoeuvre smoothly.

This lane doesn’t merge, although vehicles in it can merge with lane two by giving enough warning with the indicator and moving when it’s safe

When a lane ends, a sign gives instructions

Follow the S lane to the left then signal right to enter the turning lane
Diagram: S-lane - you must not cross an unbroken line.
Diagram: Merging - lane line ends before merge - Car B (blue) gives way to Car A (green)
Both lanes come to an end. Car A (green) is ahead and therefore car B gives way
Diagram: Merging - lane ends and you have to cross lane lines - Car A (blue) gives way to Car B (green)
The left lane ends. Car A must give way to car B if it can’t merge safely.

Vehicles should merge like a zip for the most effective traffic flow. A driver should use the entire length of a slip road/on-ramp to get up to speed and match the speed of any vehicles in the target lane.

This sign indicates that two lanes merge into one.
This sign indicates that the left lane ends (traffic must merge into the middle lane
Temporary works have closed the left lane.

If someone is pushing their way in, simply give them room. It’s better to be one car back than sustain damage or risk a road rage incident.

Trucks merging must plan further ahead as they need more room to merge into. Signal earlier and give positive indications about where you intend to merge so that other road users aren’t in doubt.

Darren is an expert on driving and transport, and is a member of the Institute of Advanced Motorists

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