Advocate Law Firm Professional Law Corporation - Personal Injury

Who has the right-of-way on an on-ramp?

You're driving along on the Interstate, with the cruise control set at 70 mph. As you near an on-ramp, a semitruck comes down the ramp to merge into the road. Who has the right-of-way, you or the semi?

Many drivers -- all drivers, not just truck drivers -- act as if the cars on the ramp have the right of way. They assume cars on the interstate will move over. When they don't, you get near misses, accidents and instances where cars merge dangerously and cut off other drivers.

That assumption is backwards. The reality is that the vehicles that are already on the road have the right of way. They can move over to be polite, but they do not have to. The cars coming onto the road need to time their merges to fit into that traffic. They do not have to stop, per se, but they cannot just force their way in, laying on the horn, as if everyone else is in the way.

After all, there are plenty of reasons you may not be able to move over. Maybe you're actually going 60 mph in the right lane. Another pickup truck is passing you, going 70 mph. A second semi is already right behind you, and another passenger car is in front. You're completely boxed in. The semi on the ramp must speed up or slow down to merge safely, rather than expecting you to get out of the way.

If you are involved in an accident with a semi, be sure you understand all of your legal options.

Source: Diversified Transfer & Storage, "What Truck Drivers Wish Other Drivers Knew," accessed April 26, 2018

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