Why you should always merge early

(Source: PXHere)
(Source: PXHere)
Updated: Mar. 8, 2018 at 11:36 AM CST
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MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Whenever construction or lane closures impact your travel plans, I always advise drivers to merge early. Recently, a viewer sent me an interesting article where Washington State joined Minnesota to encourage "zipper merging."

To best explain "zipper merging" the Minnesota Department of Transportation posted this video:

In comparison, in 2012, the Tennessee Department of Transportation launched a Merge Left and Merge Early campaign to improve travel flow in work zones. Here's how it works, per TDOT:

  • At the very first highway sign advising of an upcoming work zone, begin merging to the left lane as quickly as possible. Do not try to gain position by speeding ahead in the right lane.
  • Get in single file with all other vehicles in the left lane.
  • Stay in single file until you are through the work zone.
  • After the work zone, begin to merge back into all traffic lanes.

Finally, If you do decide to "zipper merge" or "late merge" in Tennessee, it will cost you. Law enforcement can ticket you for violation of the No Passing Zone.

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