Entering a Freeway

There are usually two parts to a freeway entrance: an entrance ramp and an acceleration lane. In this lane, drivers raise their speed to the common speed of traffic on the freeway before they merge with it.

As you move along the freeway entrance ramp, look ahead and check your mirrors and blind spots to assess the traffic to see where you will move into the nearest freeway lane.

As you leave the ramp and enter the acceleration lane, signal and increase your speed to merge smoothly with traffic. Freeway drivers should move over, if it is safe to do so, leaving; room for merging vehicles.

A few entrance ramps join the free way on the left. This means you enter the fastest lane of traffic first. Use the acceleration lane to match your speed to the traffic, increasing your speed more quickly.

How to Handle Entrance Problems:

Entering a freeway can be an unnerving experience, especially if you are a new driver. However, with practice you will find that it's not too difficult. The following are common problems you may have when entering a freeway, and ways to deal with them.
1.    You can't find a gap. During rush-hour it may be very difficult to find a gap in the traffic flow. If traffic is too close together for you to merge safely, slow down at the beginning of the acceleration lane and proceed carefully. When you see a gap, start accelerating rapidly, make sure your directional signal is on, and merge with the traffic flow. Never stop at the end of the acceleration lane. You won't have enough space to accelerate to the common speed.
2.    There is an uncertain driver ahead. Some drivers get very panicky when they have to enter fast-moving traffic. The best thing to do is to increase the space cushion between you and the car ahead. Give the other driver a bit of extra time to find a gap. Make sure the driver has merged with the traffic flow before you start to accelerate. Above all, don't rush the other driver into making a mistake.
3.    There is a "weaving area." In a weaving area cars that are exiting must cross the paths of other cars that are entering. Entering and exiting drivers should cooperate. Either slow down to let the other vehicle cross in front, or speed up to let it cross behind.
4.    The acceleration lane merges into the farthest left lane of traffic. In this situation the fastest cars will be in the lane you enter first. You will have to accelerate even faster and make your decisions more quickly. Luckily, this type of acceleration lane is quite rare
5.    You find yourself on the wrong entrance ramp. Sometimes drivers find they have not been paying close enough attention to the signs and they have entered the wrong ramp. If you make a mistake, don't back up. Enter the freeway anyway and turn off at the next exit. If you enter an exit ramp by mistake, you will meet oncoming traffic head on. This must be avoided at all costs. Pay close attention to all signs to be sure you are entering the proper entrance ramp