Merge Like a Zip – How To Get People to Let You In

One of the big problems getting on the motorway, especially during rush hour is merging like a zip. People don’t want to let you in when you do it right and then they let people force their way in, or sometimes you have no ch0ice unless you want a visit to the panel-beater and waste a whole lot of time even if you are in the right.

FocusI have noticed but not thought about the fact, as raised by writer Mike Robbins. In this excellent book he talks about how powerful eye contact is.

Next time someone pushes into your lane, halfway down the onramp, look over at them. I’ll bet they are not making eye contact. They will be looking straight ahead avoiding your eyes at all cost, because they know they are not following the rules, they just want to get on in a hurry. They don’t seem to understand that they are adding to the congestion by forcing traffic to slow down twice, once when they push in and again because the queue is longer and everyone has to slow down for the vehicle that enters at the correct location.

This process which happens every peak traffic time all over the world is a factor in causing traffic congestion. A common consequence is that by the time people on the freeway or motorway get to the part at the end of the onramp where they are supposed to let people in, they don’t want to any more.

Esmonde41So here you are, you stayed in your correct location and now need to merge like a zip to get onto the motorway. What do you do?

Mike Robbins says to try to make eye contact with the person in the car that you are pulling alongside. Chances are very strong that if you look into the eyes of the person in the car alongside you, you will have made a personal connection. At that point they will most likely let you in.

If you follow that up with a friendly wave or a quick tap on the hazard lights to say thank you, chances are they will do the same for the next person. It frequently amazes me that people don’t understand that a lot of the problems of road congestion are brought about by the behaviour of motorists, not by lack of lanes on the road. We are the system and a lot of the technology and regulations are there to guide us, but we make the decisions. We can start by recognizing that we are all people, heading on a journey and we want to arrive at our destination on time and safe. We can help each other do that as simply as looking into each others eyes and doing unto others…..

Thanks for the tip and the great read Mike. I’ll bet you didn’t think that part of your book would get picked up on:)

Does anyone else have any tips to share here? I would be keen on other ideas.

I do love that so many trucks have cameras these days. People don’t seem to appreciate that they leave a gap in front for safety purposes, not for people to try to squeeze in front instead of, yep, merging like a zip. Check this out:

About Luigi Cappel

Writer for hire, marketing consultant specialising in Location Based Services. Futurist and Public Speaker Auckland, New Zealand
This entry was posted in good books, Motoring, motorway, People, traffic congestion and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Merge Like a Zip – How To Get People to Let You In

  1. Luigi Cappel says:

    Reblogged this on Luigicappel's Weblog and commented:

    This could have easily gone into either of my blogs, being also a bit of a soapbox. I’m sure you’ll find this useful.


  2. Pingback: Merge Like a Zip - How To Get People to Let You...

  3. Rumi Shivaz says:

    Hey Luigi … I notice this issue whenever I’m driving in Auckland. Must say the Welly drivers are much more courteous than your lot. :-).


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