They are practically unavoidable unless you live in an extremely rural area, and even then you can't really escape being stuck behind an excessively-slow driver. Why do some red lights last an eternity? The world may never know.
Morning commute got you down? You're not alone. The average commute to work has reached 26 minutes, which means you spend a lot of time at stop lights, intersections, and congested highways on your way to and from the office. This can lead to a ton of roadway frustration, which may have you lashing out.
Symptoms may include restlessness, exaggerated faces, and even flipping the bird. We don't feel good about it — but sometimes it happens to the best of us. It usually flares up around a construction site where people magically forget how to drive properly, but it turns out we may be angry for all of the wrong reasons.
We all despise them. The drivers that merge into our lane at the last second, even though they were aware the lane was ending over a mile ago. It turns out these drivers may have been doing it right all along, and many states are coming forward to back up this method of traffic flow.
Although you may believe you are being a decent person, merging way before the lane ends only clogs things up more. Once you see "merge ahead" don't be so quick to turn on your blinker. A long-dreaded method of merging is actually the solution to unnecessary traffic buildup.
The "zipper method" of merging is something we see every day — and it has taken on a bit of a bad reputation. The zipper method means that every car drives as far as they can up the lane before merging — even if it involves moving up to the very tail of the ending lane. A few states have come forward to encourage this long-avoided method of moving over.
Some States Are Encouraging Drivers To Zipper Merge
The Department of Transportation in the states of Kansas, Missouri, and Washington have recently been pushing drivers to implement zipper merging through advertisement campaigns. The states of Colorado and Minnesota have been urging drivers for over ten years to zipper merge when possible, and it's time we actually listened.
Instead of every car waiting in one lane of traffic, the zipper method allows drivers to utilize both lanes. This speeds up the flow of traffic and allows fewer instances of stop and go. This is something we can all get behind, especially during rush hour.
The zipper method of merging allows traffic from one lane to enter the opposite sporadically, almost creating the visual of zipper teeth coming together as you zip something up. This allows everyone to keep moving — which will keep everyone happy. The only problem is convincing drivers to make it happen.
"The zipper merge is going to be this century's conversion to the metric system in the '70s. Great idea, made perfect sense, and was dead on arrival," stated Bob Collins of the Minnesota Radio. It just a matter of getting every driver on board, which may be way more complicated than it seems. Driver retraining is no joke.
The driving habits you have been developing since you were handed your license are hard to break. Waiting to merge has been pawned as a jerk move pretty much since cars became popular, making it difficult to adapt. Changing your tune about the zipper merge will benefit not only you, but every single person on the road.
This Method Could Drastically Improve Your Commute
Although it may seem like an inconvenience, the zipper method could be the answer to your traffic woes. Research shows that every driver implementing the zipper method could increase the speed of traffic by 35 percent. Just one more reason to wait to merge.
It may seem like they are inconveniencing everyone, but they are truly doing you a favor. Why get mad if they are helping to cut congestion by up to 40 percent? It's time to see the light, and stop getting caught behind so many red lights.
Zipper merging not only trims your commute time, but it can help curb your road rage outbursts. Every car moving quicker means every driver stays calm. Implement this merging tactic today — guilt-free! Just ignore the yelling driver to your left.