I love yield signs.
The concept is simple: YIELD = merge with traffic, but make sure you give the right of way to oncoming traffic. In some situations, you might have to completely stop, but that would show everyone behind you how much of a pansy you are.
The yield sign has a different meaning depending on which side of the sign my ego is accelerating from.
Say for instance, I am the one with the yield sign. As I approach the sign, I accelerate to match the flow of traffic I'm about to intrude upon. There’s nothing as gratifying as passing someone on the inside of the merge lane. As I accelerate, I expect that if there is a car that is beside me, they will continue on their way and that I will slow down, slightly, to allow them in front of me. I will then slide in behind them like a good little boy. If there is a car right behind the first car, I expect them to understand that I am yielding, but to keep the flow of traffic going, they should maintain their speed to allow me to sneak in. If they do not allow me in, then the next few seconds are a bit hairy. Usually, as the merge lane ends, there are scraps of trash, tires, bits of steel and (if you live in Jersey) mattresses on the side of the road. As you drive over these items, they kick up, like a James Bond car secret weapon, and rain down upon the car behind/beside you. It causes them to change lanes or slow down so that you can merge. You win! You’ve got three flat tires, but damnit you won!
Now let’s say I’m the oncoming traffic and some idiot is trying to merge in MY lane. First off to the mergers, accelerate. Yield sign is red like a stop sign, but that does not mean slow down, so you should use the merge as a launching pad. If you are going as fast as the traffic you are merging with, you’ll have more MPH to negotiate with. As I approach the people merging, I classify them into two categories; Jerks and Grandmas. Jerks are OK. They speed up and cut you off and sometimes kick up a mattress off the side of the road. I can live with that. If I see a spoiler, neon or hear bass from ¼ mile away, I know that with a few hand gesture transactions, we’ll all make it through the yield OK. Grandmas will kill you. You don’t have to have silver hair to be a Grandma either. It’s the hesitating. The stopping. The talking on the cell phone and looking over the shoulder. It’s best to change lanes or just drive into the concrete barrier and be done with it. Grandmas are why everyone is late to work or dead.
Basically, what it boils down to is that yield signs are for everyone else. If I am merging with you, you should be kind enough to let me in. If you are merging with me, follow the law, slow down and get behind me. I would hate to see what would happen in an alternate universe where I would have to merge into traffic with myself.