Are you a Merge Master?

Find out if your driving keeps traffic zipping along — or adds time to everyone's day.

When traffic slows to a crawl because two lanes are merging into one, do you:

Choose one

Merge early? It’s best to move into the through lane as soon as you see the merge sign. Get in line, people!

Merge late? It’s best to fill up both lanes right up till the merger point. Take turns, people!

You’re a Merge Master!

Merging early is best when traffic is moving fast. But when traffic slows, the Zipper merge is best. Using both lanes cuts traffic backups by as much as 50%.

Learn More

Try again

Oops, try again!

Merging early is best when traffic is moving fast. But when traffic slows, moving every car into one lane just makes it even slower.

The Zipper merge cuts traffic backups by as much as 50%.

Try again

Be a Merge Master

Zipper Merge

How to Zip Up Traffic around Work Zones and Crashes

When two travel lanes are merging into one and traffic slows to a crawl, use the Zipper merge to keep everyone moving. Here’s how:

Choose your marker

Use both lanes.

Yep, both of them. All the way to the merge point.

Start counting

No, that’s not cutting in line.

Using both lanes means the highway has more “capacity” to keep traffic moving along. Everybody wins.

Count slowly

Take turns.

Left lane. Right lane. Left lane. Right lane. When cars smoothly yield to one another, everyone’s wheels keep rolling.


Feel good.

It feels good to give someone a break, and get a break in return. That’s one reason why the Zipper merge has been shown to reduce road rage.

How to merge at highway speeds

When traffic is moving fast, the rules are different. Here’s how to master the art of the fast merge:

  • Drive ahead. Merging onto the highway? Changing lanes to exit? Put down that phone (wait, you already did that, right?) and look ahead to find an open spot.
  • Who’s on first? The through-lane has the right-of-way. If you are merging into traffic, it’s your job to find the right place to fit in.
  • Match the pace. Increase your speed to match the flow of traffic. Use the length of the onramp — that’s what it’s there for. If you’re in a travel lane, you might need to slow down a little to fall in place behind a fast-moving car. No one likes to be cut off.
  • That thing. You know. Your turn signal? There’s a time for mystery. Merging is not one of them. Use your turn signal so the cars around you know what you’re planning to do.

Other helpful tips

Merge Like A Master

Think you can count to 3?

Test your skills

Let’s go!
Get Your CARma On

Get Your CARma On

Tips for a calm commute

Let’s go!
Smart Drivers. Safe Workers.

Work Zone Safety

Smart Drivers. Safe Workers.

Let’s go!
cars colliding in an accident

Can you pass the crash test?

What to do if you get in a wreck on the highway.

Driving smart helps keep you safe every day. But smart drivers also are ready for the worst. Here are the top 5 things to do when one bumper meets another.

  1. Dial 911 or *FHP. Tell the dispatcher if someone is hurt and needs an ambulance.
  2. Turn on your hazard flashers. Help other drivers see you so one wreck doesn't become two.
  3. Get out of the travel lane. Pull off the road. If you crash near a work zone, you may have to drive up the road a bit to a safer location.
  4. Get away from the road. If you have to get out of your car, keep as far away from traffic as possible.
  5. Document the wreck. Snap a picture of the crash. And exchange information with the other driver (name, address, phone, license plate, driver's license).

Want to really know your stuff?
Check out the Official Handbook for Florida drivers.

Official Handbook - pdf opens in a new window
Back to Top