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Preventing Highway Merging Accidents

MnDOT Raising Awareness of the Zipper Merge Technique for Lane Closures

How many of us were taught to merge as soon as you safely can after you see the lane closure sign? Probably many of us have. It seems to make sense to get over sooner, rather than later and risk getting stuck in the closed lane, right? According to MnDOT’s website merging later can be better.

Zipper Merge?

The zipper merge driving technique acts just like the teeth on a zipper. Traffic uses both lanes of the road until the designated closure, then the cars alternate like the teeth on a zipper into the open lane. It appears there are many benefits of using the zipper merge. MnDOT quotes Sue Groth, the MnDOT traffic safety and technology director, saying “Raising awareness for motorists to use the zipper merge in construction zones will help reduce crashes, speeds and congestion.” Of course there are times to not use the zipper merge, like when traffic is moving at highway speeds and there are no backups.

To learn more about the zipper merge technique and view a video on the topic, please visit  http://www.dot.state.mn.us/zippermerge/.

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