Want To Save Time? Skip Left Turns!


It is a “trick” that delivery drivers have used for years — and it works. You can save time, gas and money if you avoid idling in the left turn lane and make three right-hand turns instead. It is safer, too.

One firm happy to confirm this rather surprising information is UPS. It used mapping software that limits the number of left turns its drivers can make.

The folks at UPS headquarters estimate that this move saved 98 million minutes of idle time last year.

A 2001 study by North Carolina State University backs these figures. On one-third of the state’s “super-streets” — surface roads that forbid left turns — trips take 20 percent less time than on conventional streets. And the university study concludes that there are 46 percent fewer accidents at crossings.

Now, if we could only convince motorists to stop texting while driving, signal before making a turn and stopping at stop signs, driving a car these days would become a happier task. I have yet to start skipping left turns, but if UPS tells us it works, I surely will soon.