You’re driving down the interstate, listening to a podcast. There is traffic all around you, but everything is moving smoothly. Then, as you come around a corner, everything changes. A car is coming down the onramp, and you can tell from their speed that you’re both going to reach the same place at the same time.
Most of the time, drivers move over to allow cars onto the road. However, with traffic around you, maybe you can’t move. Who has the right of way, you or the driver entering the interstate?
You do. As an officer with the N.C. Highway Patrol put it in the Charlotte Observer: “The person in the act of merging has to make sure it can be done safely.”
You’re already in your lane. You can keep it. As long as you’re not recklessly breaking the speed limit or something of that nature, you get to stay right where you are with no legal ramifications. The driver on the ramp, whose lane is ending, has to merge in safely around your vehicle.
The problem is that drivers entering the road don’t always act like this is the case. If you can’t or don’t move over to let them on, they may grow angry. More than one accident has been caused by a driver assuming traffic is going to move out of their way and then not merging safely as a result.
When this happens, remember your rights. That other driver put you in danger. If you suffered serious injuries in the crash, you may be able to seek out financial compensation for your medical bills and related costs.