New Yorkers: Your Merge Technique Could Be 100% Wrong
If there's one thing all New Yorkers can agree on, it's that everyone else doesn't know how to drive. Where do you stand on the "official" way to merge after a lane is ending?
This recent public service announcement hit a little too close to home for me. While I understand how to merge when two lanes become one, I was never sure what to do when one lane simply ended, and I blame tractor trailers.
How to Correctly Merge Lanes in New York
Whenever a lane merge on a busy highway causes bumper-to-bumper traffic, you can always count on large 18-wheel trucks to merge early. Truck drivers will often straddle two lanes in an effort to block other motorists from driving to the "end" of the lane before they merged. Since I always considered truckers to be the shepherds of the highway, I thought they were helping. Turns out I was wrong.
The Zipper Method is ALWAYS the Right Way
"Guys…. Hear us out... Your “polite” early merge is slowing you and everyone down", began a recent post from a small-town transportation department. "When drivers come up to a lane closure, they tend to get over early — which makes one long slow line, and one mostly empty lane. When traffic is really backed up, the best thing to do is not merge early" (below). Consider my world officially rocked.
Merging Etiquette in New York
The post went on to validate many burning feelings I have been keeping inside. "For many, merging late doesn't feel fair, since so few people are doing it", they noted. Exactly! In fact, not only did I feel like a lane cheater, I also loved my (apparently unearned) sense of superiority when I merged early. I would judge every late-merging car that drove past me, knowing only one of us was getting into heaven.
So consider this your official "merge late without a guilty conscience" notice, and if you see anyone giving you the stink eye (don't worry, it won't be from me anymore), just revel in the fact that you are, in fact, better, smarter, nicer, and probably way better looking than them.