How the Zipper Merge Helps Traffic Flow!
Put simply, drivers use both lanes fully to the point of closure (or defined merge area), then alternate, zipper-like, into the open lane. The technique maximizes available road space, fostering fairness and courtesy when everyone abides by it. In fact, research shows it can reduce congestion by as much as 40 percent.
Tips for performing a safe and successful zipper merge:
- Drive consistently. Don’t rush ahead, only to slam on your brakes later.
- When ready to move over, signal your intent and merge in an alternating fashion.
- If there is no bottleneck and an early merge makes sense, feel free to do so.
- The zipper merge works best in traditional congestion situations like construction zones. If a lane closure is due to a crash or breakdown, reduce your speed and move over as soon as possible to avoid endangering emergency workers and/or tow truck operators.