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Yield Does Not Mean Merge

Yield Does Not Mean Merge

Okay. I have tried to refrain from ranting, but this has become such a “pet peeve” of mine that I think it will do me good to get it out, especially since more of us are out on the roads right now enjoying the weather and our vacation time.

It is all about the “YIELD” sign. You find these signs usually on on-ramps of an interstate where the entering traffic must yield to the oncoming traffic. Here, I am speaking more specifically about the yield sign located at the on-ramp from Wheeling Island onto I-70E onto the Ft. Henry Bridge.  I can’t tell you how many times I have come through there in the right lane, unable to get over into the left lane because of traffic and have had to slam on my brakes to avoid hitting a vehicle or a stream of vehicles, yes a “stream” of vehicles, entering I-70E from the Island on-ramp.  They just literally blindly follow each other right up the ramp onto the interstate without hesitation and for sure do not “yield.” I don’t even think anyone gives a quick look over their left shoulder to check for oncoming traffic on I-70, traffic that is flowing 55-65 miles an hour.  They just zip up out of there as if they have a lane of their own and continue on their merry way oblivious to us, the ongoing interstate traffic, while we have to slam on our brakes and/or veer to the left to get out of their way risking crashing into someone else.

Giving people the benefit of the doubt, I thought perhaps I didn’t really know what the meaning of “yield” was.  So I looked it up on driversed.com and found the meaning:  “Yield means let other road users go first. A yield sign assigns the right-of-way to traffic in certain intersections. If you see a yield sign ahead, be prepared to let other drivers crossing your road take the right-of-way…”  Further, checking on Driver’s Ed Guru, it says that, “Many drivers are unaware that drivers currently on the highway have the right-of-way over cars entering it. It is not the job of cars already on the highway to make room for cars entering.”  Undoubtedly, this is the reason I get dirty looks from the onramp drivers who have stopped because I didn’t move over into the left lane to let them in.

So…yield does not mean to merge into the oncoming traffic in the same speed before you saw the yield sign, or to go right in front of the oncoming traffic causing someone to slam on their brakes to prevent a wreck.  It actually means that when you see a “YIELD” sign that you should prepare to slow down and, if necessary, STOP to allow the ongoing traffic to go through before proceeding on.  Sounds like a reasonable law to me!   

Sigh.  Okay, rant is over.  Let’s all try to be more safe out there, folks.  Let’s learn and obey our traffic signs and in turn have a safer, more enjoyable summer and life.

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