I have a question on when two lanes coming up to a traffic light at a crossroads become one lane on the other side. I've had my full licence for a bit under half a year, and was learning for about two years before. My assumption on the two-become-one lanes was that whoever's car has its 'nose' further forward would go first, and the person in the other lane would follow suit, and so on down the line and the cars automatically slot into place into the single lane. Working under this premise for about two years of driving, I must say this is normally what happened, except for some people who, when the light went green, quickly shot past me although their car's nose was behind mine. These were just impatient, not dangerous, manoeuvres though.
Last week, however, twice I had the experience of a person doing this, one of them driving their car dangerously in this situation. The first time was really dangerous. I was in the right of the two lanes (both lanes allowed for driving straight ahead). The light went green and the person in the left lane (nose being foremost) went first and I then moved off and was going to easily slip in behind. However, the person behind that person massively accelerated and cut across me, forcing me to swerve to the right, nearly into the footpath. Probably this person was an eejit or full of him/herself and was certainly engaging in dangerous, inconsiderate driving and what they did in that situation was not right because it was dangerous.
Then a day or two later, another person did something similar, accelerating in front of me at full speed although I had already started to move off and was a metre or so ahead of them (I was on the left of the two lanes this time). They cut across me from the right and shot up the street. They flashed their hazard lights (whether to say a cheeky thank you, a 'sorry', or a 'haha, I win!', I don't know). What this person did was not dangerous, as there was no danger of a collision or swerving into a footpath, but both of these incidents happening in the same week have made me wonder if there is a rule one is generally supposed to follow when two lanes merge after a crossroads? Not that everyone would, necessarily, but is there a common practice I don't know about? Chances are, others wouldn't know either if my driving instructor never pointed it out to me.
Thanks for any insight into this!
Do you mean when sitting still whomever is furthest forward will take the lane on 2 becoming 1?
It's not a rule really.
Suppose it's who gets there first gets the lane.
I'd usually just gauge how the other has taken off and slot in ahead or behind accordingly.
In the case where the second car cut you up well there are dicks everywhere. Let them off. Undoubtedly you'll end up in the same queue again in 5 mins anyway
Any junction I’ve seen where this happens, there have been accompanying road markings to indicate which lane is the merging line. Whatever about the accepted practice, I’d assume that legally anyone in the merging lane must give way to people in the other lane.
The only place in aware of this scenario is the Omagh bypass heading towards Donegal. But there is no merging lane. Instead fastest right foot gets to go in front.
Thanks for your answer. That would make sense and be helpful. I've seen this numberous times as well, where there are marking, and I usually try to indicate there when I am in the merging lane, or at least certainly drive slowly and look in my mirrors.
As far as I remember, that wasn't the case with these two lanes. The one was at one of the junctions on North Circular Road, the other was on a junction on Kylemore Road soon after coming off Longmile Road, before crossing the Luas tracks. I'll make doubly sure though when I pass by there again.
Yes, that's what I meant. Ah OK, so it is mostly what I have been doing before, but it's not actually a rule. Yes, you're right, there are people like that everywhere. I just wanted to make sure I wasn't doing something wrong! I will continue to watch out for those kinds of people to avoid an accident! In the case of that one, actually yes, I ended up being behind them at the next traffic light
There is no merge in zip in this country, you have to give way to the person in the lane you are merging into. When you are in the right lane you need to merge into the driving lane, the driving lane will rarely end it'll mostly be the overtaking/right lane that ends, safely and not just serve into it assuming that you have right of way because you are ahead. You need to check your mirrors and blind spot before moving into the other lane, if necessary you'll need to stop in the lane until safe to merge.
You where in the wrong here.
If this person made you brake then they were in the wrong and should have let you ahead of them.
The common practice is to try and avoid crashing into anything else regardless of who's got right of way. Sometimes when you have right of way you'll have to stop and occasionally even in the wrong the safest action is to keep going slowly.
I had thought that the rules of the road (and common courtesy) meant alternate cars i.e. each lane took his turn.
That's exactly what I had thought and what usually works for me. Doesn't always seems to work, though, as some people have more impatience than sense!
Thanks for your reply. It's possible I was in the wrong, but the person was clearly not looking to their right at all, just ahead in a blinkered fashion. Before taking off at a traffic light (certainly at speed!), you should look around first, and they didn't appear to. I wasn't indicating right, and as far as I remember, my lane was prohibited from turning right anyway. If it is generally the case that the right lane is the merging lane, that's good to know as it will be useful in fitire.
I am certainly in agreement with you here, but that car on the left kept going, level with me, while I was being pushed to the footpath. So even if he/she had right of way, they should not have raced as they did, in my opinion, but held back as I was diagonally in front first (i.e. in frontal view of them). I agree that regardless of being 'right', being 'safe' is the most important. That's the principle I generally go on, but that person didn't that time anyway.
The other car has no reason to look right as they are in the lane that doesn't change. It's up to you to make sure that you can merge or if the lane is ending to stop and wait till you can merge safely.
What the other car did was ignorant, in not letting you in, but legally they did nothing wrong as it's your job to merge safely not their job to let you.
I'm not sure how you were pushed towards the footpath if you were in the right hand lane? Did you mean you were pushed out towards the white line & oncoming traffic?
I agree that there are a lot of rude drivers out there however people also take too much offence at other drivers behaviour as regards merging. It becomes a lot less stressful if you take a live and let live approach to these situations. Also if you hold your line in the road, esp in a merge situation like above, the cars tend to just find their place and merge naturally.
I was saying that more because you had, correctly, pointed out that people should avoid accidents by being careful, not by feeling they're in the right. Also, my driving instructor always expounded checking left and right before and while moving off across junctions. But it is good to know about the right lane generally being the merging lane so thanks for that. Nobody I asked knew that. It doesn't seem to be widely taught formally, when this would be useful.
There is a large traffic island in the middle of the junction, which is what I was pushed toward.
I agree, people taking offence in traffic at unimportant things is road rage and self-righteous and can be dangerous. However, I wanted to clarify here on whether there is a consensus on either legal practice, best practice or common practice concerning this particular scenario.
I find that impatience is certainly the biggest problem on roads. I've had a person beep me in the past because I stopped just by the middle white line, indicating early on that I wanted to go right into a driveway, and they wanted to overtake me on the left and then did so by mounting the kerb and beeping. This was within three seconds of me stopping. With those sorts of people I totally ignore as though they don't exist. I don't even bother beeping back (usually) as that just fuels road rage and stress! Also, people pulling out to overtake buses at bus stops with no visibility have nearly collided with me coming in the opposite direction. Once someone overtook me at a red traffic light I had stopped at and then went through. It was a huge junction. They beeped me on the way, indicating that I should have gone through the red light to please their impatience to get somewhere. Again, I didn't bother beeping back. If they want to be dangerous, I'm staying out of it if I can. Nothing you can do, and I try not to get worked up. It boggles the brain though! Having said that, everyone has done things on the road they realise were probably not too clever, including me. I have the goal of being a better driver as time goes on (although I think I'm a good enough driver), and I like to pick up bits of extra good information as I go; learning on the job, so to speak!
probably a little OT, but i've often wondered what the legal position is on a road where cars queue two abreast, but there are no road markings indicating that there are two lanes. i often see it on griffith avenue, and east wall road near the lidl. is there a scenario where a drive could be found at fault legally because they took a road position which was not explicitly allowed by road markings?
speaking with my cyclist hat on, it can be a little irritating when motorists queue this way and there's no room left for other road users.