Safety & Accident

Safety Tip: Exiting the Freeway

February 24, 2017

Photo by Famartin via Wikimedia Commons.
Photo by Famartin via Wikimedia Commons.

We’ve all seen it: A driver abruptly swings across multiple lanes and crosses solid lines to just barely squeeze into a freeway exit ramp. It’s a last-second maneuver that places everyone nearby at risk. Why didn’t the driver simply wait for the next exit and leave the freeway in a much safer manner?

It’s a lesson worth remembering. If you notice your exit at the last moment and can’t get over safely, remain calm. It's not a big deal. Just stay patient, take the next exit and reroute. Don’t overreact and create undue risks and drama for yourself and everyone near you. And don’t give other drivers cause for road rage.

Here’s some additional advice from the California Department of Motor Vehicles on how to exit the freeway safely:

  • When you plan to exit the freeway, give yourself plenty of time. You should know the name or number of the freeway exit you want, as well as the one that comes before it.
  • To exit safely, take these measures —

-- Signal, look over your shoulder, and change lanes one at a time until you are in the proper lane to exit the freeway.

-- Signal your intention to exit for approximately five seconds before reaching the exit.

-- Be sure you are at the proper speed for leaving the traffic lane — not too fast (so you remain in control) and not too slow (so the flow of traffic can still move freely).

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