“Raising awareness for motorists to use the zipper merge in construction zones will help reduce crashes, speeds and congestion.”
Sue Groth, MnDOT traffic safety and technology director.
There is nothing like an impending lane closure to bring out the worst in drivers. Should I speed up? Will they slow down? These are just a few of the questions we ask ourselves as the fuzzy dice dangling from our rear view mirror taunts us; a painful reminder of the game of chance our roadway experience has become. Merging, however, does not necessarily entail throwing caution to the wind. In fact, I would highly discourage it. As with most social quandaries we encounter, there is a clear step forward when we understand the social etiquette. Enter The Zipper Merge: the answer to all (well, many) of our merging needs.
How does one properly merge like a zipper? Follow the advice from our Canadian neighbors from the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure Online.
Step 1: Accelerate to match the speed of highway traffic as you travel on ramp.
Step 2: Be aware of your surroundings by checking mirrors and blind spots.
Step 3: Flick your blinker signal on to let other drivers know you plan to shift lanes.
Step 4: Speed up or slow down slightly if a vehicle is right beside you, positioning your vehicle to enter an open space.
Step 5: Merge gradually into the neighbouring lane by following the path of the merging ramp.
Bonus Step (optional): Give a friendly “thank you” wave to the driver who gave you space to help you merge safely.
Image source and list of steps source: http://tranbc.ca/2013/01/02/how-to-merge-safely-on-a-highway/#sthash.glPfZGOH.dpuf