Why don't highway on-ramps have yield signs?

Why don't highway on-ramps have yield signs?

Jose emailed me this question: “How come there are no yield signs as you enter the freeway?"

He complained that the failure to yield to freeway traffic is causing bottlenecks as vehicles merge.

I took Jose's question to the Texas Department of Transportation, and TxDOT spokeswoman Jennifer Wright told me yield signs aren’t normally put at highway on-ramps because drivers entering the highway are supposed to accelerate to match the speed that traffic is flowing on the freeway. She said it’s the driver’s responsibility to match that speed, and a yield sign would lead many drivers to slow down instead of speeding up as they begin merging onto the highway.

It really boils down to a matter of common courtesy. Drivers entering the freeway are supposed to yield to drivers already in traffic. That's the law in most states. They should try to slide smoothly in between other vehicles to minimize bottlenecks.

Drivers who are already in traffic should also move over if they can, to allow drivers coming from the on-ramps, to comfortably and safely get onto the highway.

Some states like California, do put up yield signs and even stop signs at some highway entrances, but that only happens if there's not enough of a lane for drivers to merge onto the road as they try to match the speed of traffic.

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