TRAFFIC EXPERT: Drivers Being Too Polite While Merging Are Actually Making Traffic Worse

Drivers should be encouraged to merge late, with vehicles flowing in like the "teeth" on a zipper.

July 24, 2019
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(NOW) - While you may think letting the person next to you cut in early is the polite way to act on the road, you're actually contributing to the traffic problem.

According to experts, in order to keep the flow of cars moving smoothly, people must use the "Zipper Merge," which is more efficient.

A reporter at USA Today spoke to traffic experts and stated: 

"A lane is closed ahead: Two lanes of vehicles will soon be narrowed to one. Some drivers merge early and get to the correct lane as fast as possible, then wait for traffic to advance. Others don't seem to have a problem zooming ahead and "cutting" in line.

But according to many experts, the driver trying to be polite is probably making traffic worse than the driver who jumped ahead."

Drivers should be encouraged to merge late, with vehicles flowing in like the "teeth" on a zipper.

Officials at the Colorado Department of Transportation noted that the method can reduce delays up to 40 percent. Back in 2011, Minnesota put up billboards to teach drivers on how to merge properly, says Wired.

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