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Thursday, March 26th

Please Check your Zipper

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This is one of many articles related to automotive safety here on To find other articles, just search for "safety" using the search box on the left.

OK -- Stop what you are doing and check your zipper. (If you use a jacket, like shown, it can help to avoid being fired for indecency.) See all those little teeth things -- on both sides? They all go together one from one side then one from the other. Try it (This can be a fun exercise to do with a friend.) If the zipper doesn't do that properly we get -- a jam. Now pretend each little tooth was a car -- one of them yours. If there is a closed lane, or a reduction in the number of lanes, we must merge exactly the same way, or there will be -- a jam. Here is an article on arstechnica which includes a video from the Minnesota Department of Transportation. You may think that it is rude to wait until nearly the last minute to attempt to force your way in. It turns out that a zipper merge (or late merge) is actually the most effecive way to keep everybody moving. What if it's not your lane that's blocked? Think it's not your problem? By slowing to make room, and even stopping to force the zipper, you'll actually get through the jam faster. When you are not near the merge point, keep it tight (pay attention to your following distance) and again -- to the limit that it is safe to do so -- force the zipper. Only the clueless will think you are being mean.

You (should have) learned how to zip your zipper when you were just a few years old. If drivers would learn to zipper their mergers, we would have a significant reduction in the time spent in traffic.

carcynic on 03.26.15 @ 10:05 PM EST [Article Anchor]