WHEN your lane is closing and you are forced to merge to your left or right, there are two types of people…
Those who immediately turn on their indicator and try to join the lane immediately, and those who drive right to where the lane closes and try to merge at the latest opportunity.
While the first option seems more courteous and patient — and less selfish – it’s actually the wrong option.
Study upon study has proved that the upstanding early-mergers among us are just creating a single long, slow line of traffic that’s not only frustrating for drivers, it’s inefficient because it minimizes the amount of usable road — and it even causes accidents.
What we all should be doing is called the ‘zipper merge’, or Reißverschlusssystem, as the Germans call it (see video below).
In this system, every car in the lane that’s ending drives all the way up to the front of the line and takes turns merging with the other lane of traffic.
Because the system uses all the available road space for as long as possible, it cuts congestion by 40%.
It also reduces crashes because all the traffic is moving at the same rate of speed rather than some cars going very fast while others poke along.