Traffic Merges From Left Sign: Appearance, Usage, Meaning, Actions and Related Signs

You will encounter a triangular red and white sign with a lane merging from the left symbol on your driving lessons. This “Traffic Merges from Left” sign warns you of upcoming traffic joining the main road from the left lane. There is no yield sign associated with this sign, so you do not have a legal obligation to stop. However, you should adjust your speed and position to allow merging traffic to enter the lane safely. Look for similar triangular signs with lane merge symbols pointing in different directions, or a diamond-shaped “Give Way” sign, which indicates you must stop and yield to all traffic entering the road.

Appearance and Where the Sign is Used

The “Traffic Merges from Left” sign is a triangular warning sign designed to alert drivers of upcoming merging traffic. Here’s a breakdown of its appearance:

  • Shape: Triangle
  • Colour: Red background with a white border
  • Symbol: Black silhouette of a lane merging from the left side towards the lane you are travelling in

Does this sign come in different sizes?

No, the “Traffic Merges from Left” sign has a standard size.

Where exactly is this sign positioned on the road?

This sign is typically placed on the left-hand side of the main carriageway, a few metres before the merging lane.

Will I see this sign on motorways?

It’s less common to see this sign on motorways as merging traffic usually joins via slip roads. You’re more likely to encounter it on A-roads or other major roads with merging lanes.

What Does it Mean and How Should You React?

The “Traffic Merges from Left” sign warns you that traffic from a separate lane will be joining the road you are on from the left-hand side. This merging traffic does not have priority and must yield to you, the driver on the main road. However, this sign alerts that you need to be aware and prepared to adjust your driving to allow them to merge safely.

Here’s a breakdown of how you should react:

  • Maintain awareness: Check your left mirror regularly, especially as you approach the area indicated by the sign.
  • Adjust your speed: If there is merging traffic, slow down to create a safe gap for them to enter your lane.
  • Avoid speeding up: Don’t try to close the gap to prevent merging traffic from entering. This can cause dangerous situations.
  • Maintain lane position: Stay in your lane and avoid drifting towards the left, which could block merging traffic.
  • Use your indicator: If you plan on changing lanes yourself, use your indicator to signal your intention clearly, especially after allowing merging traffic to enter your lane.

Do I have to stop for merging traffic?

No, you are not obligated to stop for merging traffic with this sign. They must yield to you.

What happens if there’s already a queue of merging traffic?

If there is a long queue of merging traffic, you may need to slow down considerably or even come to a stop to allow them to merge safely.

What are some similar signs to the “Traffic Merges from Left” sign?

Some signs are similar to the “Traffic Merges from Left” sign. They serve a similar purpose, warning you about upcoming changes in the road layout or traffic flow. Understanding these signs is key to navigating the roads smoothly and safely. In this section, we’ll introduce you to some signs that are like the “Traffic Merges from Left” sign, each with its own specific message about road conditions ahead. 

“Dual Carriageway Ends” Sign

This alerts drivers that a dual carriageway (divided highway) is ending, and the road ahead will merge into a single carriageway, requiring caution and potential merging. With the road merging into a single carriageway, there’s going to be traffic coming towards you on the other side of the road. You’ll need to watch for oncoming cars, especially if you’re overtaking. Also, since the road is changing, the speed limit might change too, so keep an eye out for speed limit signs.

“Staggered Junction” Sign

A staggered junction is where two side roads meet the main road you’re on, but they don’t line up directly opposite each other. Instead, one is a little further down the road from the other. This setup can be a bit more challenging to navigate compared to a standard crossroads.

When you see this sign, it’s a signal to be extra alert because cars might be turning onto or off the main road from two close but separate places, which can be a bit confusing. You need to check both directions for turning cars and be prepared to adjust your speed or wait before proceeding.

What if I see a different shaped sign with a lane merging symbol?

There are temporary warning signs used during roadworks that may have a different shape but convey a similar message about merging traffic. Always proceed with caution and adjust your speed or position as necessary.