Text Offender (digigasm) wrote,
Text Offender
digigasm

Right Lane Merging 101 with Professorgasm

Chapter 1 - The Merger

If you find yourself merging onto an interstate highway you must remind yourself, first and most importantly, not to panic. Many successful merges take place all over America every day. So take a deep breath and tell yourself "I can do it!"

Step 1 (preparation): Look to your left. If there is a solid white line painted on the road it's not time to merge yet. Now would be an excellent opportunity to take a look at the traffic around you. Be aware of the speed people are traveling. Don't worry too much about understanding why you need to be aware of the current speed; we'll learn more about that in the next step.

Step 2 (the speed match): Again, look to your left. Find the car in the right lane on the highway directly to your left. Now, using the accelerator and brake pedals, you need to try to match that car's speed as closely as you can. When you reach the appropriate speed, you now need to shift your attention to the car in front of you. What you do next will depend on the car in front of you.

Step 3 (execution): If you followed the previous two steps you should now be moving forward at the same speed as everybody else and watching the car in front of you. Your first challenge will be to wait until the solid white line is no longer present on your left. It is a common mistake to get distracted by a gap directly to your left and drive over the solid white line to ease into that gap. This technique is discouraged because it will only make it more difficult for the person behind you to perform steps 1 and 2. If the person in front of you makes this mistake, you should recommend they take this course. Since it is difficult to communicate verbally with other drivers on the highway you should use RSL (Road Sign Language). The way to recommend this course in RSL is to show the person the back of your hand while touching the palm with your index, ring, and pinky fingers. If the person in front of you is an expert merger they will maintain speed, wait to clear the white line, and then ease into a gap. There should now be a different car directly behind the car you've been watching. Shift your attention to this different car as this will soon become the new car in front of you. Right behind this car that is now the focus of your attention should be some space. You should start aiming your car into this space while maintaining speed. If everything goes well you should eventually be behind your focus car. If everything hasn't gone well somebody in the vicinity hasn't taken this course. Should this happen you can choose to ignore it and hope for a successful merger next time or you can try to pinpoint the person responsible and recommend, using the RSL method described above, they take this course.

Step 4 (follow through): Many drivers get caught up in the excitement of getting on the highway and forget this small, but very important step. Warning! If you forget Step 4 you risk getting mistaken for somebody that hasn't taken this course and may get an RSL recommendation from a fellow driver. And nobody wants that. All you need to do in this step is maneuver your vehicle , without using the brake pedal, such that you have 3-4 car-lengths of space between you and the car in front of you.

Step 5 (bonus step): Some graduates might wish make known, somehow, that they are pleased with the results of a merge. To do this you should, again, use RSL to perform the "graduate handshake." Simply raise your hand or place it out the window and give it a wave as if it were a paintbrush and you were painting a spiral.

Chapter 2 - The Mergee

It is common, while driving, to find yourself in the right lane and about to be merged upon. If you'd like to avoid this you can change to a lane farther left (preferably using the techniques taught in Turn Signal 101). If you remain in the rightmost lane all you need to remember is to keep 3-4 car-lengths of space between you and the car in front of you.
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