HONOLULU (KHON2) — It seems like Hawaii roads are always under construction. 

Whether state officials are fixing a water main break close to a road, filling a pothole on the highway or doing monthly landscaping you’ve probably come across a section of the road temporarily closed.

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It’s frustrating when people wait until the last minute to merge over. However, could that actually be the best way to mitigate merging collisions?

According to State Farm that type of merging is called a “zipper merge” and it’s when you encounter lane closures and need to get into a new lane or allow others to get into your lane.

Zipper merging is considered to be the best practice by the Federal Highway Administration and a safe way to handle lane closures. 

The term Zipper merging is when drivers use both lanes of traffic until they reach the defined merge area and then alternate into the open lane.

Zipper merging reduces unexpected and dangerous lane switching as well as the dreaded traffic back up.

10 tips to safety merge into traffic:

  1. Adjust your speed to match the flow of traffic before entering the roadway
  2. Yield to drivers on the freeway
  3. Avoid stopping unless absolutely necessary
  4. Find a three to four-second gap in traffic to merge
  5. Check for cars around your vehicle before entering a lane
  6. Remember to check your blind spot
  7. Use your turn signals early
  8. Wait for the solid line to end before merging
  9. Cross one lane of traffic at a time
  10. Be prepared for your exit, and maneuver into the far-right lane as you approach it

Next time you see someone trying to merge into your lane at the last minute know that person might actually be doing the right thing. 

For more traffic and merging tips head to State Farm’s website