About driving

Key driving skills

Merging

Sometimes on a road, two lanes will merge into one lane.

The lanes merge where the broken lane lines stop. It's important to make sure that all vehicles from both lanes have plenty of space in which to merge safely. The instructions in this section show you how.

Merge like a zip

The best way to merge is like a zip – where a vehicle from the left lane goes and then a vehicle from the right lane goes, and so on.

As you merge, let one vehicle from the other lane go first, and then go.

Picture showing two lanes merging into one

Merging

Leaving a merge lane after turning right at an intersection

Some roads have a merge lane to help vehicles that have turned onto the road join the traffic flow.

If you are in a merge lane at an intersection:

  • show you want to merge by signalling for at least three seconds
  • move into a safe gap in the traffic
  • adjust your speed and following distance.
Picture of a car merging using a merge lane

Merge lane

Using on-ramps when entering a motorway

Motorway on-ramps are similar to merge lanes.

When using an on-ramp to enter a motorway:

  • change your speed to match the speed of the motorway traffic
  • use the whole length of the on-ramp to adjust your speed – don't change speed suddenly just as you enter the motorway
  • signal right for at least three seconds
  • move into a safe gap in the traffic
  • don't enter the motorway at a sharp angle
  • adjust your speed and following distance.
Picture of a car using a motorway on-ramp

Motorway on-ramp

Using off-ramps when leaving a motorway

When using an off-ramp to leave a motorway:

  • watch for exit signs
  • signal left for at least three seconds
  • move into the left-hand lane as soon as possible
  • keep up with the traffic flow until you are on the off-ramp
  • don't leave the motorway at a sharp angle
  • adjust your speed.
Picture of a car leaving a motorway using an off-ramp

Motorway off-ramp

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Last updated: 23 February 2015