By Jeremy Rochow
Published: Monday, March 7, 2022
South Australian drivers are making a common merging error, a recent samotor quiz has revealed.
When responding to a question about who gives way at a zip merge, almost half of respondents said the red car, as it’s on the left, needs to yield to passing traffic.
However, there isn’t a line marking between them, so the blue car, which is behind, needs to give way.
“It’s common for drivers to get the zip merge confused with a lane change,” says Senior Manager for Safety and Infrastructure Charles Mountain.
“In these cases, one lane is coming to an end and drivers mistakenly assume that cars in the left lane always needs to give way to the right, but that’s not the case.
“If the red car had to cross a broken-white line to get to the other lane, then it would need to give way to all traffic in that lane.”
Of the 5554 participants who took part in the quiz about 40% answered three of the four questions right, while 41% got all four correct.
When responding to the question about merging on to South Rd about 700 people said that they could zip merge. This is incorrect as you need to cross a broken white line, which means it’s a lane change and you must give way to traffic.
This highlights why it’s important to check road markings carefully when merging.
If there’s a dashed line between you and the vehicle next to you, it’s a slip merge so the merging vehicle must give way to the vehicle in the continuing lane.
If there’s no line marking between merging vehicles, it’s a zip merge and the vehicle behind gives way to the vehicle ahead
Meanwhile, 91% of people correctly answered the question about giving way to pedestrians at slip lanes.