My Take: Zip mergers can save a lot of frustration during holiday travel

My Take: Zip mergers can save a lot of frustration during holiday travel

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Fireworks, backyard barbecues, and vacations.

Those are three staples of the Fourth Of July. Chances are you’ll be one of the nearly 700,000 South Carolinians expected to hit the road for extended holiday travel. Somewhere along that long drive, you’ll probably run into at least one traffic backup due to either construction or a crash.

They are a frustrating and time-consuming inconvenience. But not all of the minutes lost due to sitting in traffic are completely unavoidable. Have you ever heard of a “zip merger?”

We rode along with Trooper David Jones with the South Carolina Highway Patrol to learn more.

"A lot of people don't realize that the merging lane needs to be full of traffic,” said Lance Corporal David Jones. “That way, you don't have those large-scale backups."

Yes, it can be hugely frustrating to sit in a seemingly endless line only to see a car zoom past you seeking to merge from the front of an empty lane. The temptation is to not let them in, but troopers say a change in thought could actually save you valuable time.

“If we can get people in that merging lane,” Trooper Jones said, “that would create half the backup and if it flowed efficiently you wouldn't be waiting an hour. But, what we see is people getting upset after they have waited an hour and they feel like someone passes them in line to get over, but the reality is that study after study shows the people going to the front of the line are actually the ones in the right."

So, as you begin your holiday travel, consider using this option. It may initially seem rude, but it could save a lot of frustration on your drive and ensure your holiday is a memorable one. That’s My Take, What’s Yours?

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