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The shortest distance between two points is a straight line, or at least as straight a line as possible. This is an undisputed fact in the scientific community. In the driving world, that norm also holds true. That means that motorists will need to turn left from time to time, moving across traffic. Learning to turn left without some sort of green turn arrow is one of the most stressful aspects of learning to drive. It’s also one of the most dangerous maneuvers a driver can attempt. Any San Diego car accident lawyer who has been practicing for an appreciable amount of time has likely handled at least one case where someone was injured in a crash involving a left turn. However, data is emerging that shows that turning left is not always necessary, as strange as that sounds. It could also be of benefit to everyone not to do so.
Real Clear Science published an article recently that discussed the way that United Parcel Service, or UPS drivers handle their routes. Every day, each driver is given a very specific route map that minimizes the number of left turns they will make. UPS also has a policy that drivers should never turn left across oncoming traffic unless absolutely necessary. They follow this policy by using software that reduces the number of left turns that drivers make to approximately 10 percent of all of their turns.
Yes, that means that there are times when a driver will execute three right turns in order to avoid making one left turn. This may seem totally illogical to most people, and that’s hardly an irrational response. How could turning three times, including at least once directly in the opposite direction of the destination, make any sense? There are several answers to this question, all of which point to the conclusion that UPS is doing the right thing. These answers include:
Why was this approach even tried? The story gives several reasons, including:
The bottom line is that UPS is reaping the benefits of this driving approach on several different levels. Not to mention, many other companies have adopted a similar plan for their drivers based on these results.
While avoiding danger is only one of the reasons that UPS works to have its drivers avoid as many left turns as possible, the fact is that this is one of the most dangerous maneuvers one can execute while behind the wheel. The Claims Journal, a publication for the insurance industry, published an article in 2014 that detailed several statistics regarding the dangers of turning left. Consider the following data that were used in the article:
San Diego County is hardly immune to the potential dangers of left turns. The statistics regarding broadside collisions in the county that occur at intersections are surprising. In 2015, the following number of these crashes occurred:
2015 was actually a better year for these accidents than 2014. Consider the following data for the previous calendar year:
While it’s quite possible that not all of these accidents involved left turns, the fact that so many of them were broadside collisions indicate a strong possibility of such.
It certainly seems unlikely that American motorists will suddenly stop turning left on a collective level, whether it’s voluntary or by way of new laws. However, it’s possible that in the future city planners in particular could put plans in place that minimize the number of left turns that people are either forced to make or choose to make. At the very least, left turns with the help of a green arrow or some other specific traffic signal could become more prevalent.
Until then, unfortunately, accidents will continue to occur in high numbers because of mistakes made during left turns. People who are injured in these types of collisions can face an enormous amount of loss. That’s why people who are forced to overcome this challenge need to make sure that they are doing everything possible to make themselves whole. If you face this situation, seek the help of a San Diego car accident lawyer who understands how to stand up for the rights of those wrongfully harmed. Contact Gomez Trial Attorneys as soon as possible to schedule a free initial consultation.
John Gomez founded the firm alone in 2005. Today, John acts as President and Lead Trial Attorney. He has been voted by his peers as a top ten San Diego litigator in three separate fields: Personal Injury, Insurance and Corporate Litigation. Since 2000, he has recovered over $800 million in settlements and verdicts for his clients with more than 160 separate recoveries of one million dollars or more. A prolific trial lawyer, John has tried to jury verdict more than 60 separate cases.
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