Merging Last Minute: It’s Annoying, But It’s Actually The Right Way To Do It
The one thing more annoying than the construction itself is the other drivers merging last minute.
We here in the Tri-State, especially in Evansville, are getting pretty used to seeing those orange barrels on the side of the road. There are so many orange barrels in the Evansville area right now. Construction zones are everywhere. While it may be a little annoying to drivers who just want to get home after a long day at work, the end result usually makes for an easier commute.
However, during the construction itself, we see a lot of things that might grind our gears. The prime example would be people merging last minute in construction. It never fails, you see the construction barrels signifying that one lane is about to end, you're stuck behind a line of cars, and you see another driver zoom past you to avoid waiting in the long line due to construction.
We all have seen it, some who are reading this are even guilty of merging last minute. Let's be honest, when we see it happen, we sometimes have a hard time letting those people merge just in spite. If you have to wait in a long line of traffic, they should too, right?!
However, according to new studies, those "late mergers" are doing it right. We are the ones doing it wrong!
In light traffic, combined with high average speeds, an early merge makes sense. In moderate to heavy traffic, early merging creates congestion and frustration.
The people who are merging early create a long line of slow-moving traffic. This minimizes the amount of usable road and can cause some accidents. These new studies suggest that we should be doing what is called the "Zipper Merger". This maximizes road space and reduces congestion.
You can see why this is the best form of merging in the demonstrations below.
So, we should continue to use both lanes of the road all the way up to the lane merging barrels in construction zones. Whether it's the Lloyd, I-69, or anywhere else that has a lane ending, give it a try on the roadways and see if it's a lot better than merging early and waiting in the heavy lines. You might receive a few nasty looks, but at least you know that you're actually doing the right thing.