July 23, 2015
Top of the Page
Motorists Asked to Take Turns to Merge Safely in Congested Work Zones  "Zipper Merge" Reduces Delay up to 50 Percent

With summer construction season in full swing, motorists are faced with having to merge into reduced lanes for construction work at various locations across the state. The safest merging is to think about two lanes merging into one. Not one lane merging into the other.

Most motorists start to merge as soon as they see warning signs and learn which lane ahead is closed. When the highway is not heavily congested and traffic is able to move at the speed limit, it is best to merge early into the open lane. However, in dense, slow moving traffic, the open lane fills quickly. When a driver in the closed lane can't move into the open lane in time, the closed lane ends forcing the vehicle to suddenly stop. The vehicle must now join traffic from a dead stop. This driving behavior can lead to lane switching, inconsistent driving speeds that cause crashes, long back-ups and road rage.

Click above to watch a short video on how to drive safely through a zipper merge.
Research shows these dangers decrease and traffic moves more smoothly when motorists use both lanes until reaching the defined merge area and then alternate merging every other vehicle in "zipper" fashion into the open lane.

By using two full lanes of traffic until the merge, the speed difference is reduced between the two lanes. The length of backups is reduced 40-50 percent. When both lanes continue to move slowly, everyone is equally delayed, which reduces road rage.

Driving Tips for Merging:

  • With light congestion and traffic moving at the speed, merge out of the closed lane as early as possible.
  • With heavy congestion and slowed or stopped traffic, use both lanes and merge at the lane closure.
  • Drivers fill both lanes and take turns merging every other car at the point of the lane closure.
For information on MoDOT's current work zones and traffic delays on Missouri highways, visit MoDOT's Traveler Information Map at http://traveler.modot.org/map/.

For more information on safe merging, visit http://www.modot.org/workzones/ZipperMerge.htm.
Move Over -
It's the Law!
The Move Over law protects law enforcement and emergency response vehicles parked on the side of the road. The law requires motorists to slow down or change lanes when approaching these vehicles. Since 2012, the law includes MoDOT vehicles parked with amber and white flashing lights.

The law is simple. If you see a flashing light on the side of the road, move over to give workers and emergency personnel plenty of room to stay safe. If you can't move over on a crowded highway, you should slowdown as you pass them.
Social Media

Amtrak Discounts
Amtrak Missouri River Runner Offers Kids Fare for State Fair -  Kids Ride for $5 to Sedalia
Families planning to attend the Missouri State Fair August 13-23 in Sedalia can get a special $5 kids fare when they take the Amtrak Missouri River Runner. The special applies to up to two children ages 2-12 accompanied by a regular fare adult while traveling together.

Book your seats using discount code V523 effective July 13 - August 22, 2015. Reservations are required at least one day in advance of travel on the route to Sedalia and the return trip only. The Missouri River Runner includes stops at St. Louis, Kirkwood, Washington, Hermann, Jefferson City, Sedalia, Warrensburg, Lee's Summit, Independence and Kansas City.

Complete your plans now for the lowest fares. Savings are possible by booking through the "Deals" tab at Amtrak.com or by calling 800-USA-RAIL. Tickets purchased online can simply be printed from any printer or presented electronically on board via your smartphone.

Terms and conditions vary. Some blackout dates and other applicable restrictions apply, including advance reservation and purchase requirements, which are displayed on Amtrak.com. The offer is valid for coach seats and is dependent upon availability.

Please note the Amtrak station in Sedalia is located approximately three miles from the Missouri State Fairgrounds. Taxi service information will be available for Amtrak travelers on the train and at the Sedalia station. For ticketing or more information, visit http://www.amtrak.com/.
Have You Seen This?
Click above to watch the short video posted on Facebook and get signed up today!
Sign Up for Road Conditions
Email and Text Alerts

Wondering about road conditions or road work affecting your travel? MoDOT's email and text alert system will keep you updated on everything happening in your area.

Watch this short video posted on Facebook for simple step by step instructions to keep you informed and make traveling easy.

Sign up here - Alerts! 
Where's Baby? Look Before You Lock.
Heatstroke is the leading cause of non-crash-related fatalities for children. From 1998 to 2014, 724 children died due to heatstroke. Of these fatalities, 54 percent were forgotten in the vehicle. These deaths could have been prevented.

It is important to know that a child's body temperature can heat up three to five times faster than that of an adult. If their core temperature reaches 107, it can become lethal. At an outside temperature of 80 degrees, the temperature inside a vehicle can be deadly in a matter of minutes. Heatstroke isn't only associated with the warm temperatures of spring and summer. It can occur at temperatures as low as 57 degrees. The temperature inside a vehicle can heat up by 20 degrees in 10 minutes, and rolling the windows down or parking in the shade does little to help cool the vehicle off in these conditions.

While no parent wants to think a tragedy such as this could happen to them, preventable accidents occur. In 2014, there were 32 children that died of heatstroke in the United States.

To prevent heatstroke inside a car remember:
  • Never leave a child alone in a parked car.
  • Always look in both the front and back seat when you leave the vehicle.
  • Lock your vehicle doors and the keys out of a child's reach to ensure they cannot accidentally trap themselves inside the vehicle.
Whether dropping off a child is part of a daily routine or something only done occasionally, there are some simple steps to help remember that a child is in the vehicle:
  • Place an item that you need for your destination next to the car seat.
  • Call your spouse after you drop the child off and have them contact you if they don't receive your call to ensure you don't forget.
  • Have the daycare call you if your child does not show up.
Pay Attention in Work Zones
or Pay the Price

The crash pictured happened earlier this month in Northwest Missouri. What you can't see is the Truck Mounted Attenuator (TMA) that saved multiple lives. TMAs are built to absorb the impact of a crash in a work zone. The impact of this crash collapsed the TMA and drove it under the dump truck hauling it. The crash also knocked out the transmission of the dump truck.

Imagine what would have happened if the TMA not been in use!

Both the driver of the dump truck and the semi were injured, but survived. So did the four crew workers on foot in the work zone ahead of the TMA.
Road Deaths in Missouri
Missouri Dept. of Transportation | (888) 275-6636
P.O. Box 270 Jefferson City, MO 65102-0270