In an effort to keep traffic flowing, prevent backups, and promote safety, State Senator Dan McConchie (R-Hawthorn Woods) is sponsoring legislation that would require the Secretary of States Office to add information to its Illinois Rules of the Road guide on how to properly merge from two lanes into one lane in heavy traffic. Senate Bill 2038 passed the Senate on Tuesday, March 27.
SB 2038 requires information on the zipper merge method to be taught to drivers. Experts believe this is the proper and most efficient way to merge multiple lanes of traffic, as drivers utilize both lanes until they reach the point that one lane narrows. Drivers then take turns merging with the other lane of traffic, creating a zipper-like effect.
Many think the best way to merge in heavy traffic is to get over as soon as possible. But that can be very confusing and is often not the safest choice, said Sen. McConchie. The safest and most efficient way is to drive in your own lane, until both lanes reach the point where one lane narrows. From there, you should take turns with the other drivers, merging with the other lane of traffic, creating a zipper effect.
McConchie also noted that studies prove that merging early only creates one single long line and slows traffic because it minimizes the amount of usable road. The zipper merge method, on the other hand, uses two lanes of roadway for as long as possible.
SB 2038 now heads to the House of Representatives for consideration.