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  • Writer's pictureKathryn Stagg

Zipping Into the Merging Future?

Updated: Dec 16, 2019

Highway with onramp and merge sign up ahead
Photo by Matty Powell on Unsplash

Frustrations over the slow pace of traffic can make merging fraught business. That's especially true when you're stuck in a slow moving lane that people are merging out of. However, the latest buzz is something called a "zipper merge," which studies suggest can help make traffic flow smoother. It might not be what you expect, however.

"While you plod along in the line that has already formed in one lane, you glare at people like me who zip to the front of the empty one and slip in at the last second. Go ahead and hate me. Or better yet - join me. There is proof that if we keep those two lanes going until the very end, we all get to the beach sooner."

While the word on zipper merging spreads, there are some important things to keep in mind. Regardless of the trends, merging is always something that should be done with caution. Merging is a prime opportunity for collisions to occur, so zipper merge or no zipper merge, proper lane etiquette is essential. That means signalling properly, respecting other vehicle's space, and checking your blind spots.

Joanne Elves, in the Globe and Mail, breaks down exactly what a zipper merge means and what it should actually look like, step-by-step. Check it out here.


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