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Unsafe freeway merging causes personal injury accidents

In Ontario, drivers may find the most stressful moment of a commute is when they have to merge onto a busy freeway. Whether traffic is crawling or moving at terrifying speeds, reaching the end of a ramp with nowhere to go and cars approaching from behind can be intimidating, to say the least. Perhaps equally as frightening is to be travelling along at the speed limit, only to have a vehicle zip down an on-ramp and merge, heedless of freeway conditions. Confusion and carelessness in merging situations result in many personal injury accidents.

It is considered courteous for a driver on the freeway to move to the next lane to make room for a merging driver. However, many in this situation believe that the law gives them the right of way, so they refuse to move over and let a merging vehicle in, even if they have a clear lane. This kind of aggressive behavior may lead to accidents if the merging driver runs out of lane or has to come to a stop.

On the other hand, a merging driver may expect freeway traffic to make room, but there may not be a way to do so safely. According to the Ontario Ministry of Transportation Driver's Handbook, drivers entering fast-moving traffic are required to signal and merge at an appropriate speed into the lane, but are never to cut off another vehicle to do so. Driving safety experts say that the best option for drivers on either side of the merge lane is to remain alert, adjust their speed and decide the most cautious action to take.

Despite the caution a driver uses on the freeway, the actions of a negligent driver may still result in an accident that causes personal injury to others. When this happens, people in Ontario find relief by consulting a lawyer for help in pursuing potential compensation. Lawyers will deal with legal issues and insurance hassles while accident victims focus on recovering from their injuries.

Source: theglobeandmail.com, "Who has the right of way on a freeway merge?", Joanna Will, Accessed on Jan. 12, 2017

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