Driving tests

24: Higher-speed areas – merge onto a motorway or highway

The aim of this lesson is for you to legally and safely merge onto a motorway or highway either from the merge lane or from the kerb. You’ll need to be either parked on the side of the road on a two-way highway, or in a merge lane (on ramp) for a multi-lane motorway.

In either scenario you should not cause other traffic to brake heavily or swerve to avoid you, and you should be aware of your car’s performance as you will need to accelerate briskly.

Driver actions: highway

You will be parked on the side of the road with the engine running:

  • Scan ahead and behind you using all your mirrors
  • Indicate right for at least three seconds before moving
  • Give a final check in your mirrors and over your right shoulder in your blind spot
  • Select an appropriate gap and when it’s safe, accelerate quickly to an appropriate speed to merge with the traffic while remaining within the posted speed limit.
  • Check your mirrors again.

Driver actions: motorway

  • Turn onto the motorway on ramp
  • Accelerate to match the speed of the traffic on the motorway using the full length of the on ramp, but remaining within the speed limit. You must not try to enter the traffic flow going slower than the traffic unless your car is incapable of getting up to speed in time. Be careful of drivers ahead of you who are nervous and might try this, though.
  • Indicate right for at least 3 seconds while you are still in the merge lane (on the on ramp)
  • Match your speed and position to an appropriate gap in the traffic – remember you’ll be merging like a zip if the traffic is busy
  • Move into the gap when it is safe – hesitation and poor positioning here can confuse other drivers, so ensure you are signalling and that you are giving the intention of moving into the lane. Watch for other drives who might try to cut up the inside of your car, and give them room.
  • Once in the traffic flow adjust your position to leave yourself a safe gap to the vehicle in front (at least two seconds behind if it’s dry)
  • Check your mirrors

Perform the tasks at least twice.

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