SGI is urging motorists to embrace the zipper merge.
It’s a concept, according to Tyler McMurchy, SGI’s Manager of Media Relations, that works — and will help motorists navigate through constructions zones and other one-lane traffic situations.
McMurchy says the idea allows drivers to use both lanes until the closing lane ends, then alternate in a zipper fashion into the open lane.
“Which is a quick and efficient way to handle lane closures and work zones,” McMurchy said. “Which allows drivers to use both lanes until the closing lane ends and alternate in a ‘zipper’ fashion into the open lane. This makes the traffic flow more quickly and efficiently.”
He says the traffic concept indeed speeds things up, once motorists get used to the idea.
“The thing with the zipper merge is that it allows drivers to use both lanes until the merge point,” Mc Murchy said. “With a little bit of courtesy, respect and caution, drivers can alternate so it allows traffic to flow more efficiently.”
McMurchy says SGI has more to digest than simply zipper merges. How you grip the steering wheel is also a concept which is changing with the times.
“So the best practise for hand positions on the steering wheel is now 9 and 3, or 8 and 4,” McMurchy said. “Many people were raised on 10 and 2 – including myself – but were saying now 9 and 3 and 8 and 4.”
McMurchy says the reason for the grip-change is to help motorists gain better control of their vehicle in case there is an accident.
As well, he says the different grasp could help you in case your air bag launches during an emergency.
The government agency has released its updated Saskatchewan Drivers Handbook and these concepts as well as others can be further explored such as:
- Tougher impaired driving and cellphone laws that came into effect Jan. 1, 2017
- Best practice is for hand positions at “9 and 3” or “8 and 4” on the steering wheel, not “10 and 2”
- Tow trucks can have blue and amber flashing lights; slow to 60 when lights are flashing
- Addition of “in-laws” to family members who can ride with new drivers
- Jaywalkers – you should always be prepared to stop if a jaywalker enters your path. But don’t wave them on or encourage them as the car behind or beside you may not see them.
- Right of way in parking lots – rules of the road to follow when it comes to thoroughfares and feeder lanes