How to avoid zipper merge
Posted On August 9, 2021
In the unlikely event that you find yourself merging your two wheels on the drive through at a petrol station, it’s best to stop and ask the attendant to remove the wheel(s) before you go.
Zipper merge, or what is known as zipper wheeling, is the act of leaving the other vehicle’s wheels on for extended periods of time in order to merge onto the vehicle you’re merging in.
The problem is that if you’re stuck in a Zipper Wheeler, you’re going to have to do some serious pulling to get your two wheeled vehicle to go straight, as opposed to the normal way of merging, where one wheel moves onto the other, allowing you to merge.
“It’s like driving a car with one or two wheels, but you’re on a conveyor belt that moves the whole vehicle,” Dr John McIlhenney, who runs a motorcycle school in the Adelaide Hills, told ABC Radio Adelaide.
“It is like pulling a car by the handlebars with one hand and pulling the handlebar on the other hand.”
You pull the handle bar on the right hand to pull the right wheel and the left wheel, which in turn pushes the other two wheels.
“But Dr McIlhensons advice can be tricky, as he said one of the most common reasons for zipper wheeler collisions was due to people not having a good understanding of the mechanics of merging.
Dr McIlhernys advice involves pulling the other wheel off the ground, using your hands to push it off the floor, then using your other hand to lift the other wheels off the other side of the car.
After all that pulling and lifting, your wheels should be able to push on the floor.
However, Dr McIlshenys advice can also result in more serious injuries and even fatalities if people don’t understand the mechanics.
For more information on zipper wheelers and how to avoid them, you can read our handy guide to merging.