What if left turns were not permitted? Wouldn’t that be strange? The truth is, left turns have been found to be responsible for a high number of pedestrian and cyclist fatalities. In fact, one quarter of motor vehicle crashes involving pedestrians happen during left turns. UPS (United Postal Service) instilled a “no left turns” policy in order to save on fuel and time. Although UPS doesn’t completely ban their drivers from doing left turns, about 90% of their turns are right hand turns. The theory is, in a busy intersection, idling in the left turn lane burns up gas and burns up time. Apparently, as the story goes, UPS was researching what they could do to cut costs. They also have an environmental stewardship policy. So, UPS looked at both efficiency and fuel conservation and came up with this brilliant idea.
Being broad-sided at a high speed by oncoming traffic that may have your view blocked by vehicles in the opposing turn lane appears to also be yet another hazard of the left turn.
So, it appears that left turns are dangerous for everyone! Yikes! I had no idea! According to the National Highway Safety Association, 53% of cross-path crashes involve left turns, but less than 6% involve right turns. And 36% of fatal motorcycle crashes involve a left turn in front of an oncoming motorcycle.
So, play it safe. Take less left turns. Try it out for a week. See what kind of difference it makes in your commute.
Until next week,
Daun Thompson
Writer / Comedienne / Artist
No Left Turns – Comedy Defensive Driving