A woman once asked me "Why is it so hard for me to get on the freeway? People are so rude. They won't even allow me to get in. Sometimes I have to completely stop and wait for the last car to go by before I can start moving again." My reply was "Let's go out in the car and observe how you are doing it." So off we went to the nearest freeway.
It was mid morning in the Twin Cities. The rush hour traffic had died down. We were poised to enter onto I-94 from one of the many entrance ramps between St. Paul and Minneapolis. I gave her the instruction "Go ahead, and do it the way you normally would." She began accelerating, looked anxiously to her left, and slightly began braking as she saw a cluster of cars bearing down in the lane she wanted to enter. She put her turn signal on and began accelerating again, and was almost to the end of the ramp when someone honked at her, sending her into a panic of indecision. She then steered off to the right onto the shoulder, and almost came to a complete stop when mercifully the final car in the cluster quickly buzzed by. "Whew", she said, and quickly got up to the posted speed limit, where we drove past a few more exits, and then I asked her to turn onto a street I knew that leads to a shopping area. There we stopped at the curbside, and I took out my Instructors Book, filled with diagrams from the State Driving Manual.
I explained to her that every freeway has entrance and exit ramps that are designed to make it easy for drivers to get on and off. Of course there are different kinds of ramps (diamond shaped, clover leafs, and various asymmetrical shapes). But the most common entrance ramps have a regular lane followed by an acceleration lane. The ramp is usually down sloped to help the motorist GAIN SPEED. The acceleration lane is there for just that - to ACCELERATE. I pointed out to her that her problem was she was failing to accelerate, was too hesitant, and in the end it was her indecision that made it impossible for her to enter the freeway with fast moving traffic. The simple fact is, other drivers have the right of way. They have no obligation to allow you into their lane, and usually won't, because they don't want to be behind such an unsure driver. So, the entire burden of getting into traffic safely is on you. Now here is the problem.
If the traffic is moving at the posted speed limit ~ say 55 or 60 miles per hour ~ THE SPACES BETWEEN THE CARS ARE MOVING AT THE SAME SPEED. You cannot squeeze into "moving spaces" at a speed slower than the cars (and spaces) are moving. From the top of the entrance ramp down to the bottom of the acceleration lane, you have usually 1000 to 2000 feet to accelerate to the SAME SPEED as the flow of traffic. If you get down to the end of the ramp doing the speed limit, most likely other motorists will easily let you in. Why? Because they don't have to slow down or slam on their brakes for a "slow pokey" driver. The secret is to match their speed, and move into the space smoothly.
Of course you must always remember to make all other legal actions required by state laws. You must put your turn signal on, you must check your side mirror, and it is advisable to turn your head slightly left to look over your shoulder at the approaching traffic. After that, if you have properly accelerated up to the speed limit, you should be easily able to merge into moving traffic at the posted speed limit. Is it possible that someone may STILL not allow you to enter ahead of them? Yes, you can always find an occasional person like that. But then you simply allow them to get ahead of you, and move quickly in behind them. Your mindset getting on any freeway should always be to ACCELERATE. Remember, other users already have the right of way, and you must merge safely and lawfully.