CNN explores a burning question: why do commercial delivery couriers always favour right hand turns? Apparently these services save “millions of gallons of fuel each year, and avoids emissions equivalent to over 20,000 passenger cars.” with this one practice. By avoiding left turns, you are avoiding delays that can make for traffic build ups. Even a left turning phase adds approximately 45 seconds to a left turn.
And there is more-“a study on crash factors in intersection-related accidents from the US National Highway Traffic Safety Association shows that turning left is one of the leading “critical pre-crash events” (an event that made a collision inevitable), occurring in 22.2 percent of crashes, as opposed to 1.2 percent for right turns. ” Over 60 per cent of crashes happen while turning left, compared to 3 per cent of crashes involving right turns.
Information from data collected by New York City’s transportation planners conclude that pedestrians are three times more likely to be killed from left turn vehicles. The UPS carriers assess all the routes to avoid left hand turns to minimize idling time and increase time sensitivity. They have rebooted Google maps to reflect routes that minimize left hand turns, a practice developed in the 1970’s with the term “Loop Dispatch”.
While this works great for pre-planned routes, in daily driving routes are less random. But when you see a big company courier truck making a left turn in traffic, you will know they are deviating from the “Loop Dispatch” plan.