Skip to main content

Don't drive like an idiot: This is how zipper merging works

It's not budging. You're supposed to use both lanes.

Don't get mad at drivers who stay in an ending lane and merge at the very last second. They're actually doing the right thing and zipper merging. 

GoMN spent some time riding around with Ken Johnson, a Minnesota Department of Transportation work zone, pavement markings and traffic devices engineer. He explained how zipper merging works and why officials want you to do it. 

Basically, it helps reduce backups when a lane has to end (due to something like construction) because traffic remains spread out over multiple lanes for as long as possible. 

It's also safer because traffic in all lanes keeps moving at around the same speed. Johnson explained that having slow traffic in one lane and fast-moving vehicles in another increases the risk for crashes. 

It's important to note that you can't always zoom past traffic and call it a zipper merge. Say there's a major backup on a regular exit lane and someone speeds ahead to right before the lane branches off and cuts in. 

That's not a zipper merge. That's just being a jerk. 

Watch the video above to see exactly how zipper merges work. You can learn more here

We also did a video on how not to drive like an idiot in a multi-lane roundabout

Next Up

291734046_502006195017388_4346404407323115820_n

Sheriff: Search for 3 kids at Vadnais Lake is 'likely triple homicide'

"A horrible set of facts appears to be developing," said Sheriff Bob Fletcher.

Pixabay laptop keyboard phone dark

Charges: Duluth man had hundreds of child porn images, videos

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children found nearly 330 images on the man's electronic devices.

hennepin county sheriff water patrol lake minnetonka

Scuba diver found dead in Lake Minnetonka identified as 20-year-old

The Hennepin County Medical Examiner's Office said 20-year-old Brady Alan Aune, from Elko New Market, died of freshwater drowning on June 3.

Screen Shot 2022-06-30 at 11.18.35 AM

Felony charges filed after authorities search 'Peacebunny Cottage'

The president of the rabbit rescue non-profit faces multiple animal cruelty charges after over 40 rabbits were found dead inside the organization's barn.

monkeypox virus

Minnesota up to 6 confirmed cases of monkeypox virus

Most people recover at home within 2-4 weeks.

thc edibles

Did Minnesota just accidentally legalize THC?

A Republican lawmaker who voted to approve the new law in May is already talking about rolling it back.

Screen Shot 2022-06-30 at 3.19.42 PM

Gasoline may be cause of sewer explosion on U of M campus

An all-clear was given around 9 p.m. Thursday, with residents in the area allowed to return to their homes.

image

Overwhelming demand for THC products on first day of new law in MN

One shop owner said his Chaska store broke the online sales record before they opened Friday morning.

Flickr - Lake Minnetonka boat - Greg Gjerdingen

Increased drunk boating enforcement over 4th of July weekend

The increased enforcement is part of the Operation Dry Water initiative.

Kayak

Four kayakers stranded, rescued in Chisholm park

The kayakers became stranded at Redhead Mountain Bike Park Thursday afternoon.

SherburneCoJailDrugArrests

Duo charged after 10-pound meth package sent to wrong address

More than 10 pounds of meth are off the street thanks to a delivery error.

Screen Shot 2022-07-01 at 11.01.32 AM

Bird Rides' suburban expansion continues in Minnesota

Its scooter season in Minnesota. The latest on where you can find Bird e-scooters:

Related

Watch out for farm vehicles on roads, officials warn

It's harvest time so be prepared to share the road with tractors.

Don't drive like an idiot (and other things to remember when roads are icy)

Here are 4 things you should keep in mind while behind the wheel.

Video: What causes those bad, random traffic jams?

They can come out of nowhere and have no apparent cause.

Video: How ranked-choice voting works

This will be used to elect some mayors.