This could seriously change your commute this morning . . . and for the rest of your life. So listen up.
Whenever you have to merge, you know those jerks who drive past everyone else, and wait until the VERY LAST SECOND to merge? Like in a construction zone? It turns out they’re actually doing it the RIGHT way. And everyone else is wrong.
It’s called the “zipper merge” method. Because if everyone does it, the two lanes look like a zipper coming together.
The Department of Transportation in Kansas started promoting it recently, and officials in Colorado have been trying to get people to do it for over a decade.
But it hasn’t caught on, because people think it makes more sense to merge as soon as possible. Or they don’t want people to hate them for skipping the line.
But studies show that if everyone waited until they were closer to the merge point, traffic would move 35% faster. And it’s safer, so there wouldn’t be as many accidents.
Just to be clear, we’re not talking about people who drive on the SHOULDER to skip traffic or get to an exit. Feel free to keep hating them as much as you want.
Silly video explaining how it works.
We found a list online of things you learned about driving that are wrong. And with most of them, it’s because the technology in cars has gotten better. Here are the top four . . .
- Don’t drive with your hands at 10 and 2. It made more sense in the 50s when a lot of cars didn’t have power steering. But turning the wheel is a lot easier now. And because of airbags, it’s actually safer to keep your hands at 8 and 4 now.
- Don’t pump the brakes to keep them from locking up. Again, it only makes sense if you’re in a really old car, because anti-lock brakes do it for you now. If you’ve ever hit the brakes and felt them vibrate, that’s what’s happening.
- Don’t pump the gas if your car won’t turn over. It used to help when cars had carburetors, but there were fuel-injection systems in most cars by the 1980s. So now it doesn’t do any good.
- Don’t ride the brakes while you’re going over a speed bump. That doesn’t mean you should go over them at full speed . . . you should slow down BEFORE you get to a speed bump.
If you hit the brakes while you’re going over one, it makes your car lunge forward, so it’s harder on your shocks and you feel the impact more.
Children Trick-or-treating — Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis
If you’re letting your kids go trick-or-treating with friends this year, here are three free smartphone apps to help keep them safe. They’ll have to have a phone with them, but a lot of kids have their own phone anyway now.
And even if you’re going trick-or-treating with them, you might want them in case you get separated . . .
- Family Locator. It uses the GPS on their phone to show exactly where they are in real time. You just log in on your phone, and it pulls up a map. Or if they need you, they can press an S.O.S. button that sends you their location.
- Red Panic Button. It’s basically like the S.O.S. button, but simpler so it’s good for little kids. All they have to do is push a big red button, and it automatically sends you a text with a link to a map that shows where they are. And you can put multiple people on the contact list, so more than one person gets it.
- Life360. Again, you can see where they are on a map in real time, and they can message you if there’s a problem. But the cool part is you can also set boundary limits. So you get an alert if they go too far away, or cross a street they’re not supposed to.