The Australian road rules state that when a lane ends and the traffic must merge, that the traffic in the continuing lane must yield for the merging traffic.
Despite the road rule being quite clear, it amazes me how often you see people in the continuing lane not giving way to the merging traffic. This relatively small disregard for the road rules typically results in the merging traffic slowing down dramatically or coming to a complete stop. Once that happens, it then takes even more effort for the merging traffic to actually merge as they then have to accelerate – which depending on the speed of the continuing traffic can be quite difficult.
What frustrates me even more though, is when drivers know that they are required to merge and choose to leave it to the last minute. Their impatience makes the situation worst, as you’re now in a position where you have people needing to merge and people not yielding.
If drivers know that they are required to merge, the traffic would flow far more smoothly if they merged early – before the traffic compresses. As soon as the traffic compresses, it then becomes harder to merge as their typically isn’t enough space often enough between all of the vehicles. When the continuing lane must slow down for the merging traffic, it exasperates the problem and you’re witnessing the beginnings of painful drive to work.
Moto of the story, when driving – if you’re required to merge; merge as early as you can. If you have merging traffic around you – allow them space to merge comfortably so they don’t need to slow down. The world, or at the very least commuting, will be a happier experience for your consideration on the matter.