Ask Kim – February 27

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Dear Kim,

I’m terribly frustrated with drivers in Topeka.  Why do people merging onto the highway think you yield to them?  Merging drivers in this area think cars traveling at 65-70 mph need to move over or slow down so they can get into the traffic flow.  Short of going all crazy road rage on them, what do you think?



Dear Anonymous,

I hear you loud and clear.  I face this myself every morning from traffic coming off the fly-over bridge onto I70.  I’ve seen cars on the outside lane almost come to a stop on the highway so another driver could merge into their lane.  There’s usually honking, finger waving and general bad mouthing that occurs regularly.  Talk about an accident waiting to happen!  I typically don’t see this expectation of highway drivers in other places either.  Must be a Topeka thing!

Seriously though, merging drivers must give way to traffic already in the lane they are moving to.  It doesn’t make sense for someone to slow from highway speeds to allow another car into their lane.  I think it was Officer Ben from the KHP who said one of the biggest mistakes merging drivers make, is not accelerating up to speed to be able to merge into traffic.  The Kansas Turnpike Authority also had a video about using the zipper method when heavy traffic is trying to exit off the highway.  This method is very useful as it speeds up the exit process and keeps everyone moving.  There is a distinction though between getting on (when drivers need to speed up) or off (when drivers need to slow down) the highway.

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