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Who has the right of way here?


Who has the right of way?  

28 members have voted

  1. 1. Who has the right of way?

    • Me
      24
    • The Mercedes
      4
  2. 2. Would you slow down in advance to give way (in the spirit of defensive driving)?

    • Yeah
      26
    • Nah
      2


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(Granted this is not so Corolla-specific, but I'm genuinely curious what you guys reckon.)

So I was driving down the A2 motorway the other day in my Corolla TS, with Openpilot activated (it's just a much more advanced adaptive cruise control + lane tracing assist system, compared to the stock TSS).

And there was this other car in the slip road, trying to merge onto the highway. As you can see in the video below, my speed was higher than theirs at the time, and they only signaled quite late when they almost reached the end of the slip road.

In the end, I was forced to take over almost at the last second (i.e. braking to disengage ACC) to avoid a potential clash.

So, who actually has the right of way in this case? And regardless of that, would you slow down in advance to give way (in the spirit of defensive driving)?

 

Btw, there is a separate thread where I share more of my Corolla+Openpilot experiences in case you're interested,

 

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Haven't watched the video, but traffic joining the motorway should always give way to traffic already on the motorway, and make full use of the slip road to match the speed of traffic on the motorway.

However, some won't do this.

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Thanks for sharing your video - 

As a former DVSA driving examiner, clips of driving can be viewed in various ways but here is my view if interested:

At the start of the clip you are driving in lane 1 of the motorway. You proceed to undertake the van in lane 2 which has can have serious consequences. What if the van had decided to move back to lane 1 at the point where you were in his blind spot area undertaking him? We cant't see what was going on prior to the undertake but something to consider . . 

The Mercedes car that was moving from the slip road to join the motorway - Yes he should give way to you and make sure that it is safe to merge. Is an indicator signal absolutely necessary? On that occasion possibly not, where else is there for the Mercedes car to go other than to merge onto the motorway? 

Rather than maintaining your speed by means of cruise control, you should be prepared to slow down to allow traffic to merge or perhaps consider moving into lane 2 if it's safe to do so. The video you uploaded shows that you had a clear view of the Mercedes that was going to merge (dry roads - clear view) yet it appears you made little attempt to react.

Regards

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The driver on the motorway is under no obligation to change their speed or direction to allow another driver to come onto the road.  The onus is entirely with the driver using the slipway with the intention of entering the main road. 

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My reply to this topic is this. Approximately 60 or so years ago there was an American show on the television called Highway Patrol, which I think starred Broderick Crawford. (In the b & w days). It depicted a highway patrol officer working on the highway. He always signed of with these words “Remember folks in the event of an accident out there on the highway, it doesn’t really matter who’s right it’s who’s left”. That sums up my reply 🚗.

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8 minutes ago, Stivino said:

The driver on the motorway is under no obligation to change their speed or direction

This is true to a point. The hazard perception test has been part of the theory test for many years now. It is designed to teach inexperienced drivers how, and when to react to hazards. 

When we drive in lane 1 of a motorway, an experienced driver will always expect, and plan ahead for vehicles merging from the left. A slip road onto a motorway is in it's simplest terms just a junction like a T-junction, roundabout etc.

Where another vehicle emerges in front of us incorrectly, as a competent driver we use our skills to react to these situations. 

However, people bring their personalities onto the road when they drive, whether that be patience, aggression or something else. Drivers who do not plan well ahead and react to hazards early (as per the hazard perception test) are the ones who are more likely to be involved in an incident. 

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16 minutes ago, HS78 said:

You proceed to undertake the van in lane 2 which has can have serious consequences. What if the van had decided to move back to lane 1 at the point where you were in his blind spot area undertaking him? We cant't see what was going on prior to the undertake but something to consider . .

Hmmm interesting point. I've always assumed maintaining a good distance to the lead car in one's lane, plus creating ample space for lane-change, would be good enough. But it sounds like you're suggesting additionally not to overtake cars in the right lane?

26 minutes ago, HS78 said:

Rather than maintaining your speed by means of cruise control, you should be prepared to slow down to allow traffic to merge or perhaps consider moving into lane 2 if it's safe to do so. The video you uploaded shows that you had a clear view of the Mercedes that was going to merge (dry roads - clear view) yet it appears you made little attempt to react.

Yep this is great advice! I was indeed a bit too much dependent on the ACC system at the time, and wasn't prepared to proactively disengage it. To be frank, if I wasn't on ACC and was driving by myself, I would have reacted sooner.

Appreciate your detailed reply!

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8 minutes ago, truantotter said:

not to overtake cars in the right lane?

Hi MJ

Hope I could help - It is only my advice.

Highway code rule 267 - "Overtake only on the right"

Highway code rule 268 - "Do not overtake on the left"

As I mentioned, if you use lane 1 to pass traffic on lane 2 you may have a vehicle returning to lane 1 that hasn't seen you because of a lack of awareness of you are in their blind spot. 

It's a good poll regarding defensive driving. People who vote in favour of 'not slowing down' have a certain personality trait. 

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Another signing off he had on Highway Patrol was “Remember it isn’t the car that kills, its the driver”.

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28 minutes ago, HS78 said:

if you use lane 1 to pass traffic on lane 2 you may have a vehicle returning to lane 1 that hasn't seen you because of a lack of awareness of you are in their blind spot. 

I see. Good point indeed!

Previously, my mindset has been that if the car in lane 2 needs to move over to lane 1, then they should signal and make sure there's space for it (just the same as if they needs to use lane 3 to overtake). But yeah, in practice, since people naturally assume cars on left lanes move slower than them, they will inevitably pay less attention when changing over to the left, and hence the risk of overtaking them from left (even just passively as I did) is higher.

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19 minutes ago, Bernard Foy said:

Another signing off he had on Highway Patrol was “Remember it isn’t the car that kills, its the driver”.

With more cars running on roads with assisted driving systems (like ACC, Openpilot, and Tesla FSD, etc.), I feel like this may soon get blurry 😀

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You had right of way which I voted for but for me I would of either slowed down momentarily, to let the car merge or moved if safe into lane 2. 

James.👍

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Pity there was not a traffic cop around when you undertook the black van - he would have stopped you, give you a strong caution or better still a fine, and the delay caused would have meant you wouldn’t have been in the situation with the car coming along the slip road to join the motorway.                  
I agree, and voted,  you had the right of way re the slip road incident, but voted “yeah” you should have slowed down and let the car into Lane 1.         
Maybe you relying too much on ACC, or in this case OpenPilot. Remember, these things are selective aids for the driver to choose. YOU are still in charge of the vehicle. One of the drawbacks of these aids is that drivers rely too much on them, beyond what they are for. For sure, I use ACC (my Prius has the radar CC - does your Corolla) but it can be activated and deactivated. I would NEVER undertake a vehicle like you did the van - it’s unlawful, and re the situation with the slip road car, at least I would have deactivated ACC, slowed down and let it into Lane 1 (even though that car should have slowed. Question - as you should have see the slip road car was clearly going to join the M-way (it had no where else to go), did you check there was nothing in Lane 2 behind you that would have preventing you signalling and moving out to Lane 2, thus allowing the car in slip lane to safely move into Lane 1. Or were you adamant “I’m in this lane and I ain’t moving”. It might be correct for the driver on the slip road to give way, but it really was a situation that lives were at risk. It would have been sad if your last words were “I was in the right”.            
If your Corolla has adaptive (radar) cruise control it would have reacted to the car in the slip lane and braked, probably harshly. Has OpenPilot not got that feature, or maybe OpenPilot has over ridden the Toyota adaptive cruise control (if you car has it).?               
I know when you “mod” a car, like put bigger wheels on or boost engine performance, your insurance company has an interest. It could be if you fit OpenPilot” you insurance company needs to know. Is that the case? I don’t know. But it could be you are driving with no insurance!
Finally, do remember no matter how many aids your car has, you are always in control - always.  And read the current Highway Code (I must do that as well).

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35 minutes ago, Catlover said:

If your Corolla has adaptive (radar) cruise control it would have reacted to the car in the slip lane and braked, probably harshly. Has OpenPilot not got that feature, or maybe OpenPilot has over ridden the Toyota adaptive cruise control (if you car has it).?

I'm pretty sure that's NOT the case though, as most ACC systems out there (inc. TSS) is only focusing on maintaining a certain distance to the lead car (in this case, the car before me in lane 1) -- as such they don't respond (or even pay attention) to cars in adjacent lanes.

Comma Openpilot and Tesla FSD are the two exceptions. They have a specific "cut in" prediction module to try to look for such cases as early as possible. Although in this case, Openpilot didn't foresee this "cut in" (as I explained in the video), and I, being overly dependent on the system at the time, didn't react as early as I could have.

52 minutes ago, Catlover said:

It could be if you fit OpenPilot” you insurance company needs to know. Is that the case?

Yep and they are completely cool with it.

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As a Biker as well as a car driver I tend to look at things differently. Being in the right wont keep me alive. Police Instructor said to me, If you have an accident, YOU, took your eye off the ball. Slip roads are inherently dangerous, I will always try and move into the middle lane if possible when approaching incoming slip roads. At the 22 second marker in your video when the Merc comes into view I personally would have started slowing. AI (Artificial Intel) has a long way to go before It matches 40 years of Instinct and what if.

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2 hours ago, truantotter said:

I'm pretty sure that's NOT the case though, as most ACC systems out there (inc. TSS) is only focusing on maintaining a certain distance to the lead car (in this case, the car before me in lane 1) -- as such they don't respond (or even pay attention) to cars in adjacent lanes.

At 33 secs that car in the slip road was very close to you, I pretty sure the adaptive cruise control would have acted in my Prius. But by then you are both too close, they were in the wrong, but you should have acted sensibly before the 33 sec mark.

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Absolutely you have right of way. I'd have slowed down but I'd have been F'in' and blindin' at the moron in the Merc all the way. This is my pet hate with motorways and DCs. I drive at a steady 60 in the lane one and I'm always encountering idiot motorists that:

a) don't understand that vehicles on the main carriageway have right of way.

b) are unable to grasp the concept of accelerating into a gap in front of me (as this Merc driver should have done).

This kind of thing really grates me gears. I often find that after the idiot driver has joined they will accelerate away and into the distance. If they actually knew what they were doing they could do that off the slip road and avoid all the hassle.

I've even had people on forums tell me that I should move over to let them in. But that's dangerous:

a) Because I'm travelling relatively slowly so moving out could cause problems for traffic behind me.

b) Changing lanes is always one of the most dangerous things you can do and doing it at a junction just compounds that.

c) What happens after I've moved out. Said driver is highly unlikely to want to travel at my speed so after we drive parallel for a while they will have to undertake (dangerous) and then I have to change lane again.

The only thing I would say is that your final move was very dangerous. You perhaps left it a bit late to deal with this particular pillock. I noted that you'd passed the van before you highlighted it and I was already thinking of moving over since the traffic was light and there was space.

But you have my sympathy.

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Haha I had answer the votes without watching the video thinking is a joke😂 and of course Mercedes and bmw always has right over Toyota but yes I would slow down no matter if I have rights of way or not. Now seriously in this particular case the driver who recorded the video is responsible entirely for the dangerous situation. Mercedes driver and van driver did absolutely nothing wrong. 

1. Undertaking while approaching slip road entry and exit is ultra dangerous 

2. You should always anticipate what changes ahead and adjust speed and distance accordingly, up or down, keep in CC and doing nothing believing you have right of way is very wrong, 

3. Three most important rules while driving:  Watch - Think - Do,  in our case the Toyota driver failed to comply with last rule . 
 

Great comments and advice as always 👍 

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I didn't bother to watch the video or vote but here's my four penneth:

When I get close to a slip entering the road I'm on I am always on high alert for the mergers and 'pushy mergers'.  If I have the space I always move out to give space, or speed up/slow to create a space if necessary (and yes, I use radar cruise a lot) as ensuring an accident occurs because I'm refusing to cede makes me part blameworthy.  

I'm a young whippersnapper and have only been driving since 1974 but the one constant that never seems to change over the years is the personality change that takes over far too many road users.  Some go from mild mannered pleasant people to raging psychopaths once behind the wheel. (yes, I have my moments, but never knowingly compromise my safety, and by association, other road users safety).  In my early driving days being cut up on the motorway was a story you could dine out for months on, yes it did happen, but traffic really was lighter then.  These days driving defensively is more of a necessity due to volume of traffic and drivers apparent competence (or lack of it) behind the wheel. Just to name a few of the 'modern' problems: the number of driving texters/mobile users/hoody wearers with no peripheral vision, and headphone wearers with no audible cues spring to mind, never mind the aggressive 'my space and you're not getting in' mentality. As mentioned previously, it's better to arrive a couple of minutes late as opposed to not at all, and being courteous also drops the stress levels considerably.

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4 hours ago, Catlover said:

Pity there was not a traffic cop around when you undertook the black van - he would have stopped you, give you a strong caution or better still a fine, and the delay caused would have meant you wouldn’t have been in the situation with the car coming along the slip road to join the motorway.

Although even better might have been for said officer to pull the van driver over and give them a fine for not keeping left.

I think the most likely scenario for me would have been to move over almost as soon as the Mercedes came into view. It was obviously travelling slowly so I could overtake it without changing speed and the traffic was light so risk from a lane change was low. But it would annoy me. I'm minding my own business in lane one and some numpty requires me to change my lane and maybe my speed.

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10 hours ago, Bernard Foy said:

My reply to this topic is this. Approximately 60 or so years ago there was an American show on the television called Highway Patrol, which I think starred Broderick Crawford. (In the b & w days). It depicted a highway patrol officer working on the highway. He always signed of with these words “Remember folks in the event of an accident out there on the highway, it doesn’t really matter who’s right it’s who’s left”. That sums up my reply 🚗.

Ten  Four !

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1 hour ago, john p williams said:

Ten  Four !

I have just ignored that Bernard Foy said Highway Patrol was on 60 years ago - I used to watch it!  🙈

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22 minutes ago, Catlover said:

I have just ignored that Bernard Foy said Highway Patrol was on 60 years ago - I used to watch it!  🙈

I couldn`t ignore it Joe as it was part of my TVintake as was Wyatt Earp !

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2 hours ago, TonyHSD said:

1. Undertaking while approaching slip road entry and exit is ultra dangerous 

2. You should always anticipate what changes ahead and adjust speed and distance accordingly, up or down, keep in CC and doing nothing believing you have right of way is very wrong, 

3. Three most important rules while driving:  Watch - Think - Do,  in our case the Toyota driver failed to comply with last rule . 

@TonyHSDgood tips.

I think the legal position per Highway Code is important but when push comes to shove, metaphorically speaking, common sense wins: in this case the bloke in the Mercedes looks like he was going to merge into the lane the Toyota driver is in no matter what. The most prudent action by the Toyota driver would have been as others have suggested - slow down to let the other guy merge in front of you, put aside feelings of "why should I have to give way?". Then drive on knowing that you're a far better person than he or she is.

From watching the video, I can see a potentially lethal outcome that might have ensued if the Toyota driver had refused to give way - and his driving stance looks like that was his intent until the very last minute.

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Although you had right of way you should have anticipated the issue well before deciding to take action and could have caused an accident with the car on slip road and van behind. Cruise control is just a driving aid and you should have been aware of the situation well before you decided to take action 

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