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Old 08.06.2011, 10:15
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Merging onto a motorway

How are you supposed to do it here? the merge on slip road seems to be very short compared to the UK and it doesn't seem that drivers on the motorway like to make room for you.

The main strategy I've seen is that people just signal and merge on regardless of what is coming and force their way on.

Since I'll be driving a large van this week, I wonder if I should even bother looking or just signal and drive on and hope everybody gets out of my way?
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Old 08.06.2011, 10:20
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Re: Merging onto a motorway

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Since I'll be driving a large van this week
Disgusting! Can't you use the tram?
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Old 08.06.2011, 10:20
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Re: Merging onto a motorway

I've seen various techniques from vehicles stopping at the end of the sliproad if the traffic is particularly heavy, to vehicles forcing their way onto the motorway and everything in between, including cars driving along the hard shoulder waiting to nip into the queue.

Armed with a big van, I think you should be fairly visible. Just aim it at the most expensive car passing you and they'll definitely scurry to one side and let you in. (Joke!)
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Old 08.06.2011, 10:22
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Re: Merging onto a motorway

On the flip-side, I've found that if traffic is flowing freely, most cars will switch lanes so they don't have to slow down i.e. its expected that you will just pull out.
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Old 08.06.2011, 10:22
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Re: Merging onto a motorway

Not that I've driven, or been driven, that much here in Switzerland but I often saw cars using the hard shoulder as an extension to the slip road. In my opinion, this makes it obvious that the slip roads here are too short.
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Old 08.06.2011, 10:29
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Re: Merging onto a motorway

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Since I'll be driving a large van this week, I wonder if I should even bother looking or just signal and drive on and hope everybody gets out of my way?
Mirror and blind spot checks!

The last time I hired a lorry to move some stuff here, it was right-hand drive and when I accelerated on the slip road, the left-hand wing mirror folded in so I had no idea what I was going to drive into.

Luckily I had some gaffer tape on me (never leave home without it!) and I could effect a repair that got me back to the U.K.
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Old 08.06.2011, 10:58
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Re: Merging onto a motorway

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Mirror and blind spot checks!

The last time I hired a lorry to move some stuff here, it was right-hand drive and when I accelerated on the slip road, the left-hand wing mirror folded in so I had no idea what I was going to drive into.

Luckily I had some gaffer tape on me (never leave home without it!) and I could effect a repair that got me back to the U.K.

What did you hit?
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Old 08.06.2011, 11:05
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Re: Merging onto a motorway

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Since I'll be driving a large van this week, I wonder if I should even bother looking or just signal and drive on and hope everybody gets out of my way?
I see you are going to great lengths to ensure that you integrate into the Swiss way of doing things...
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Old 08.06.2011, 11:09
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Re: Merging onto a motorway

yep the give way sign obviously means everyone else has to give way.....
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Old 08.06.2011, 11:48
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Re: Merging onto a motorway

I can't find a reference at the moment but my understanding is when merging onto the highway in CH, the person on the highway is under NO obligation to move over or otherwise help you out. Entering the highway you DO NOT have the priority.

It can be a real pain sometimes when there is no one in the left lane and the person still sits in the right lane blocking your entry. Makes for some tight fits.
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Old 08.06.2011, 11:52
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Re: Merging onto a motorway

One reason why you see so many high powered cars in Switzerland. Simply to ensure they are up to motorway cruising speed by the time they merge
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Old 08.06.2011, 12:02
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Re: Merging onto a motorway

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...the merge on slip road seems to be very short compared to the UK...
I don't think they're that bad here. The autostada in Italy though are another matter.

Probably because they were built so long ago, some of the slip roads from service areas can't be more than 50m long. (I've got in mind a service staion on the A12 near Genoa.) When the traffic is fairly busy, you sit there, in the petrol station, revving the engine (in drive with your foot on the brake - the smell of hot transmission fluid perculating through the cabin) looking for a big enough gap in the traffic, then it's foot to the floor and hope for the best.

Absolutely bloody terrifying.
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Old 08.06.2011, 12:21
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Re: Merging onto a motorway

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How are you supposed to do it here?
Swiss stylee would be as fast as possible without looking, and if forced to indicating, which really means feck off out the way I'm coming over and I don't care if you have priority and there is a car to your left so you have nowhere to go

I'm dreading the day AMG comes out with go faster kit for a Sprinter

Last edited by Papa Goose; 08.06.2011 at 12:34.
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Old 08.06.2011, 12:29
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Re: Merging onto a motorway

This is something I've never been aware of as being a problem.

Just a case of thinking well ahead. As soon as you can see the oncoming traffic (behind), from the slip road (probably in your mirror with a van), already try to work out where your going to fit in and try to get your speed to the correct level to nicely slot in, by the end of the entry slip.
[If you've ever ridden a 'bike and had to overtake many cars with a continual stream of vehicles coming in the other direction, then this should be no problem to gauge.]

Failing all else, then think of it like Top Trumps - size/weight wins.
Put your indicator on early and start to slowly drift into lane and a gap should appear.
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Old 08.06.2011, 12:33
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Re: Merging onto a motorway

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One reason why you see so many high powered cars in Switzerland. Simply to ensure they are up to motorway cruising speed by the time they merge
And you need brakes to match for the off-ramps .

Coming off the motorway at up to 120 km/h needs some hefty braking on some of those junctions because you only have a few metres before it makes a sharp bend or you are on top of a roundabout.
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Old 08.06.2011, 12:44
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Re: Merging onto a motorway

I drive a medium sized van here all the time and have never had a problem. If there is room in the left lane cars and other vans will always pull over, if not, they will either accelerate to leave space for me behind, or slow down to let me in front. Trucks especially will always leave room for me by slowing down. It's no better or worse than in the UK or most other European countries.

I have however experienced this a couple of times, when I was already on the motorway and I slowed down slightly to let a car in in front of me. Both times there was plenty of space and the incoming car by now was even going slightly faster than me but they chickened out and almost did an emergency stop at the end of the slip road. Really not sure what I else I could have done for them other than jumping out the cab and merging their car for them.
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Old 08.06.2011, 12:50
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Re: Merging onto a motorway

Entering an Autobahn is tricky, you do NOT have any right of way! You need to look back and see how fast the traffic in the right lane is moving, then decide quickly whether to brake hard or accelerate. You are explicitly allowed to overtake on the right hand side when entering an Autobahn.

Do not stop at the end of the slip road and wait for a gap in the traffic, this is the worst option!
(Legally I was wrong to suggest this, legal advice says do not do this)

Sehr geehrter Herr Ittigen

Auf der Standspur (Pannestreifen) darf man nur im Notfall fahren und anhalten.
Für das Suchen einer Lücke zum Einfahren ist meines Erachtens klar nicht gestattet.


Mit freundlichen Grüssen
Dr. Martin Michel,
Lachen


Decide where you are going to filter into the traffic and signal early. Now accelerate as hard as possible. Usually there is no hindrance in the emergency lane. You can safely use this lane until the wanker in the right lane has slowed down, moved left or out-accelerated you! When you get a slot, gently move into the right lane and cancel the indicator.

[Believe it or not, and this is NOT a joke, officially you should indicate turning right when joining the autobahn! This was mentioned in the TCS magazine about a year ago, the reason being that you are effectively moving to the right at the junction. This is of course legal bull-shit and nobody does that!]

Last edited by Ittigen; 11.06.2011 at 00:03. Reason: Legal advice added
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Old 08.06.2011, 12:57
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Re: Merging onto a motorway

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my understanding is when merging onto the highway in CH, the person on the highway is under NO obligation to move over or otherwise help you out. Entering the highway you DO NOT have the priority.
This is correct. Existing traffic have priority over joining traffic. This is one of the reasons you often see joining traffic moving relatively slowly until they see access is clear, which is when they start to speed up. This probably also explains why the access ramps are short - they're not designed for vehicles to travel at 120kph with no right of priority..

The moral of the story is, don't press the pedal to the metal as soon as you get on the access lane.
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Old 08.06.2011, 12:59
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Re: Merging onto a motorway

WOOT!!! Free for all!!!

I generally accelerate so hard that the GF is pinned to the seat. This I find had two benefits; Firstly I have under out accelerated all moving traffic in all lanes and I can filter where I want and second she is unable to reach forward and change the radio to Swiss Schlager hits

I also find waving a gun at people equally effective :P
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Old 08.06.2011, 13:07
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Re: Merging onto a motorway

If you drive a beat up car or truck, people will always yield. Esp people in nice cars.
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