Whoops- forgot to finish that headline....NASCAR drivers seen merging with other NASCAR drivers.  Sundays race on the ittty-bitty mile long Phoenix flat track got me thinking about a couple of things...first off- those drivers are crazy fast.  Secondly- even as sworn competitors they share the road better than many of my friends and neighbors.

Before you start thinking this is another rant about North Dakota drivers from some out-of-state know it all...lemme clarify- I'm an in-state-know it all.  I'm not one to suffer from road rage.  I don't grumble about every crazy thing I see happening everyday out on the road.  BUT- I would love to know why you don't want me to merge alongside you on a spacious four lane highway.

Watching a little NASCAR this weekend got me wondering- How do those drivers that are in pit row ever get back on the track?  They MERGE!  Even at speeds nipping 140 MPH these competitors kindly let one another back on the track.

Antony Goto/Flickr

Driving Minneapolis/St Paul- if you're not going 80, you must be on a moped.  So, how do non-professional drivers in the Twin Cities make their way home safely day after day?   They MERGE!  You need to move four lanes over in a just a quarter mile?  Flip on your blinker and go for it!

Ben Hussman/Flickr

It seems to me the concept of the MERGE is simple enough- there is an "on ramp" which is lengthy enough for a driver to gain the speed necessary to enter the highway without disrupting the flow of traffic.  Solid thinking...only problem is- Y'ALL WON'T GET OUT OF THE RIGHT LANE!   Now I realize that maybe you've been driving in that lane for quite a few miles, sun's shining, cruise control's on...yup this could be the start of something special between you and that right lane- and certainly no amount of merging vehicles are going to ruin that relationship.  This just a theory- love makes people do crazy things.

Low speed merging onto a highway is dangerous.  Honestly,  I've had drivers STOP on the ramp ahead of me because they had no room to merge.  Ever been stopped on a ramp?  The whole time you're watching your rear view mirror and wondering if your air- bag hits harder than former Minnesota Viking (now kinda Boxer) Ray Edwards.

So, just asking that we all pay more attention to other traffic on the road.  Look ahead- anticipate merging traffic, and switch lanes accordingly.  I just want on the road too...I promise you can have your lane back.


Sandy and Sue will be watching you!  Got a driving pet peeve?  Start a conversation with a comment!