Let’s talk about the Zipper Merge.
There’s two lanes for traffic and one is closed a mile ahead for construction. As soon as drivers see that sign saying “Left Lane Closed Ahead,” they jump in the right lane…and more times than not…come to a complete stop.
Via USA Today just a few days ago, “according to many experts, the driver trying to be polite [merging early into the open lane] is probably making traffic worse than the driver who jumped ahead.”
It has been proven to be more efficient and reduce backups by 40%. Early merging has a higher rate of accidents due to rapid stopping.
Just last week (July, 2019) there was a fatal semi crash on I-55 in the pictured roadwork area near Wilmington that killed one driver. The zipper helps prevent the unexpected 70mph to zero.
The semi in this photo is preventing a zipper merge most likely because he or she believes that for some reason driving to the point of a merge is “cutting in line.”
That’s just silly.
If all drove to the point of the closures, there wouldn’t be cutting.
In fact, in Minnesota, this driver would be cited for blocking or impeding traffic!
So why not try to reduce traffic backups and TRY the zipper (with some spreading of this information).
Besides, what are we REALLY winning/gaining/proving by merging early and sitting?