Without question, traveling or commuting on congested and crowded roadways across the state of Michigan is often challenging. However, trying to merge in bumper to bumper traffic can be a nightmare, especially when the other drivers don’t seem to be playing by the same rules. To reduce traffic jams and car accidents when merging, the AAA recommends using the zipper approach.

To gain an understanding of the zipper method, examine the following scenario that plays out daily on roadways across the country. Two lanes of traffic are narrowed to one lane due to a lane closure. Many drivers merge into the correct lane as soon as possible then wait in line for traffic to advance. However, some drivers will zoom ahead of the line and attempt to cut in. Thinking they are being polite, some drivers in the correct lane will stop and let the other drivers cut in, but this will only make traffic flow inefficiently and create more of a backup.

According to the AAA, the zipper method of lane merging allows traffic to flow in both lanes, thus bringing organization to the merging process. With the zipper approach, vehicles use two lanes to merge into one lane efficiently, just like a zipper smoothly coming together. Some drivers are resistant to zipper merging and may think it’s like skipping the line. However, a representative from the AAA said the zipper merge has been shown to keep traffic moving smoothly and reduce traffic jams when compared to a less structured approach.

When it comes to merging in heavy traffic, drivers should not be in competition with other drivers but rather allow for a smooth flow forward through traffic. It’s important to remember that merging isn’t a race. The end goal is always to arrive at the destination safe and sound. Unfortunately, there will always be drivers who are unfocused or careless behind the wheel. Any individual in Michigan who suffers injury or loss due to negligence in a car accident has the right to pursue damages by speaking with an experienced attorney.