Hunter & Cassidy Law

What is the zipper merge?

On Behalf of | Sep 22, 2022 | Motor vehicle accidents

Do you ever feel frustrated that people don’t know how to merge? This can waste a lot of time and energy, and it slows drivers down with traffic jams that don’t have to exist.

But the truth is that many people never learned how to merge correctly, and it can cause a lot of issues. In some cases, it can even lead to road rage and serious car accidents. This could all be avoided if people learned about the zipper merge.

How people tend to drive

There are times when you arrive at a section of the interstate that is under construction. The interstate will usually have two lanes running in the same direction, but one of those lanes will be closed down and all of the cars will be instructed to merge to the left or the right.

What people often do is merge as soon as they reach the backup. They pull into the back of the line, even if the construction zone is miles ahead of them. But this is an incorrect tactic. This just leaves one empty lane all the way up to the space where the lane is closed – the merge point – which should be used. And that is why drivers are supposed to use the zipper merge.

How does it work?

The zipper merge is very simple. Everyone just continues along in both lanes until they reach the merge point at the front. Then they go every other car, with one vehicle moving forward from each lane. One car goes straight, then the next merges in, and so forth. This is the fastest, smoothest and most efficient way to merge.

Unfortunately, a lot of drivers simply don’t know how this works. They’ll become angry when cars pass them in the open lane, even though those drivers are just moving up to the merge point – as they should. In some cases, people will even try to cut these drivers off and wind up causing car accidents or running them off of the road.

This is just one of the dangers of driving in a traffic jam. If you get injured in an accident, be sure you know how to seek financial compensation.