Why and how Canadian drivers should zipper merge

Watch the zipper merge demonstration video underneath this post

The zipper merge is the standard in many parts of the world and has been proven to be safer, faster, and fairer than the wait-in-a-long-line method favoured by Canadian drivers.

The well-known politeness of Canadians is actually detrimental to a smooth transition through a bottleneck. A 2004 study by the Virginia Transportation Research Council found that traffic that stays in motion tends to clear the obstacle quicker. When done correctly, a zipper merge reduces starts and stops and keeps traffic flowing which in turn, gets you home sooner.

A zipper merge is when drivers fully use both lanes and delay merging until they reach the obstruction that’s causing the bottleneck. Canadian drivers consider this the automotive equivalent of cutting line and good manners dictate that they should merge into one long line and patiently wait their turn. Ironically, the most polite thing Canadians drivers can do when merging is to selfishly use that empty lane which in turn will keep traffic moving.

Tony Browton - TrueBlueRealty.ca
Personal Real Estate Corporation
Re/Max City Realty (Gibsons)
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Zipper Merge Demonstration Video