Q I have been rear-ended three times in 11 years of driving. Every time it has been the same story -- car in front of me brakes hard and stops suddenly. I slam on my brakes and car behind me hits me. While I have been given the clean chit from insurance all the time, I can't help wonder if there is something about my driving that is causing this. Any tips for me?

Sonia Venkatachalam

Sunnyvale

A Yes. Give yourself more space between you and the car ahead of you. The driver who hits you from behind is responsible for not ramming into you, but if you don't have to slam on your brakes you have a better chance of not being rear-ended. Others want to weigh in?

Q Could you check with the powers that be about getting a "KEEP CLEAR" painted on the pavement at the Bascom Avenue offramp from south Highway 85 near Samaritan Drive? We're already dealing with "No Right On Red" at the end of the ramp, but when drivers on Bascom stop right in front of the exit, we can't scoot over to the left lanes in order to turn onto Samaritan. We end up waiting one or two light cycles to exit. Mostly, it's muscling our way in when we have a green. Drivers on Bascom ignore us and think that they belong there until the light on Samaritan turns green.

Marcia Citta

Saratoga

A Caltrans agrees and will install a "KEEP CLEAR" pavement marking at this intersection.

Q Please, please, please be the bearer of good news. I have been waiting quite a few years for Crystal Springs Dam to be reopened and have my sneaky way to get from San Mateo to Interstate 280 and back as an option. They had said it would reopen "Summer 2013," so that to me says late November at earliest. Please Gary, say it hasn't slipped into a 2014-2015 time frame.

Lisa Erickson

San Mateo

A Sorry, but it has. As a result of delays with the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission's Crystal Springs/San Andreas water transmission upgrade, construction of San Mateo County's new Crystal Springs Dam Bridge will be delayed until next spring, as well as the scenic vista point parking area south of Sawyer Camp Trail. Work on the bridge is expected to take about one year to complete or until the spring of 2015.

Q I was just in Chicago, and U.S. Turnpike 55 south was only one lane due to bridge construction. About a mile from where the signs indicated a merge into one lane, big rigs were blocking traffic to pre-emptively force a merge into one lane. Why do big rigs think there is difference between merging one mile before the official merge and just merging where it is indicated?

Drew Wescott

Saratoga

A This is a common practice because so many auto drivers will zoom up to the right of a truck in these situations and truckers have a hard time seeing them. For safety reasons, they'll hog part of the far right lane.

Look for Gary Richards at Facebook.com/mr.roadshow or contact him at mrroadshow@mercurynews.com or 408-920-5335.