We’re all pretty familiar with the rules of the road.

If you’re out there operating a vehicle, chances are you have a decent understanding on how things work.

When you see a yield sign, you wait to make sure you can go before continuing to move forward. When there’s a yellow light, you speed up to beat the red, unless you’re Jeff Parsons.

When you’re traveling down a two-lane street and you see the merge sign, what do you do?

Do you speed up and pass the cars next to you to get into the single lane? Do you slow down and merge over as soon as possible? Do you keep traveling in the lane you’re in and wait for your designated turn to merge over?

Apparently, there’s a set rule for this.

Alternate Merging

Call me dumb or whatever you want but I did not know there was a set method for merging. I thought it was a free-for-all and you could speed ahead, slow down, or just wait your turn.

I did not know there was a method to this madness.

This method is called “alternate merging” and it was implemented in Maine in 2019

As kindly shared by the Town of Scarborough, Maine via Facebook, alternate merging is:

“When a two-lane road becomes one lane and vehicles take turns merging into the single lane like a zipper.”

How does it work? It’s quite simple: All drivers stay in their lane until the merge point. As the post shares, you should resist the urge to merge early. That’s the part that surprises me because that’s always what I’ve done and thought it was the right thing to do.

As the post continues, they share that at the merge point, each car takes turns slowly and smoothly merging into the right lane, with each car in the right lane allowing one car to merge in front of them, creating the zipper effect.

This is definitely common sense and how merges should be executed but I had no idea there was an actual method that was implemented recently.

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