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Road Construction – Zipper Merge

Road Construction – Zipper Merge

Q. I would like some information concerning the “zipper merge”. In our area of the country, when road construction signs alert you of a lane closure, it is understood that everyone will merge into one lane. In my mind, I have always believed that the road sign indicated that you should merge as soon as possible. I am now being told by different people that we are supposed to “zipper merge”.

Please help me settle a very heated discussion.

Mark F.
Sales Rep.

A. Thanks for the question Mark.

According to recent studies, the zipper merge is the preferred method when there is a pending lane closure. The process works best when the two lanes of traffic fill in, and just before the closure both lanes take a turn at filling the open space and move smoothly through the lane closure area. Case studies in Minnesota show that traffic backups can be reduced by as much as 40% using the zipper merge system.

We trust that you will find this answer helpful for your discussion. And thanks again for allowing us to share this driver safety information with you and many others.

Safe Travels.

This question was answered by:

Ben Langley is the Safety Editor for “The Driver Advantage™”. Ben is a passionate proponent for driver safety education, training and awareness. Continuously submerged in research targeting human behavior and driver safety; Ben initiates creative thinking that is evident in his writings. Ben also develops unique, exciting and results oriented driver safety programs and campaigns. His knowledge and common sense approach to driver safety is wrapped with authentic concern for people. Ben is also the co-found of Safety Wins, Inc. a 501©(3) non-profit organization. The Safety Wins concept of training fleet drivers at NASCAR Race Tracks throughout America was federally and privately funded. Today, Safety Wins, Inc focuses on Teen Driver Safety and continues to use the platform of motorsports to attract attention to their life saving driver safety message. Contact the author

- has written 47 posts on Driving Dynamics.

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