Originally Published in www.1800truckwrecks.com
Left turns are one of the most dangerous maneuvers drivers can make on the road. In fact, 53 percent of crashes that are described as ‘crossing-path accidents’ are directly caused by left turns, while drivers making right turns only cause 5.7 percent of these wrecks. (1)
And a recent study in New York found that left turns were three times as likely to cause a deadly crash involving a pedestrian as right-hand turns. And 36 percent of fatal accidents involving a motorcycle involving a motorcycle involve a left-hand turn in front of a motorcycle.
The problem with left turns is that unless there is a left-turn signal, vehicles have to nose into the intersection and gauge the speed of oncoming traffic before attempting the turn. But if drivers turn too early, it can lead to an accident.
Furthermore, many drivers who are trying to take left turns will wait until a light turns red to complete their turn. But if they wait too long after the light turns red to turn left, they can affect the flow of traffic from lanes that have a green light.
Left turns in commercial trucks are even more dangerous, because of the size of these vehicles, which means that it takes longer for drivers to complete these turns against oncoming traffic.
As a result, oncoming vehicles are much more likely to strike a truck that is turning left than a passenger car that is turning left. And the damage in these types of accidents are typically more devastating, especially because of the higher risk of a chain-reaction rear-end event.
So how can commercial truck companies lower the risk when their drivers make left turns? One answer is found in an innovative solution implemented by United Parcel Service (UPS), whose drivers almost never make left turns.
Why UPS Trucks Don’t Turn Left
If you’re ever driving behind a UPS truck, you may notice that the driver of the truck will not take any left turns.
The reason why UPS trucks don’t turn left is become the company has found that avoiding these turns can save millions of gallons of gasoline, and benefit the environment by lower emissions.
The company started the practice in the 1970s, prior to the invention of GPS and computers, and it now uses sophisticated software to plot the best route for each delivery truck.
UPS officials have found that not only are left turns not fuel efficient, they also cause delivery trucks to sit in traffic for a longer period of time, which can affect engine performance.
While UPS does not officially ban its drivers from making left turns, it does ensure that the route to each delivery minimizes as many left turns as possible.
The computer software will simply eliminate unnecessary left turns in favor of right turns that will allow drivers to make delivers more efficiently. That doesn’t mean that UPS drivers never make left turns, they just make far fewer than other commercial trucks.
UPS’ proprietary maps are more accurate than commercially available ones. The system knows about parking lots, private driveways, variable speed limits and roads that are inaccessible for a truck.(2)
With more than 18 million deliveries each day in the U.S., UPS officials said the no left-turn policy saves the company between $300 to $400 million each year when gasoline, salaries and vehicle running costs are tallied.
In addition, UPS lowers its emissions by 100,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide each year, which is the same as taking 21,000 cars off the road.
“UPS took the initiative to minimize left turns,” stated Dallas Truck Wreck Attorney Amy Witherite, partner at Eberstein Witherite, LLP. “It developed its maps to eliminate as many left turns as possible, and in the process it lowered the chances for truck accidents, and saved millions. When safety also provides benefits to the bottom line, truck carriers are more incentivized to pursue innovative methods to lower accident rates.”
Recovering Damages After a Truck Accident
While left hand turns in truck wrecks can cause serious injuries, any collision caused by one of these commercial vehicles can change your life. That’s why the team at 1-800-Truck-Wreck® is so committed to recovering damages after a truck accident.
These cases can be complex and require the services of a firm that has the resources to pursue your claim all the way to trial, if necessary.
“What I remember from the accidents that I’ve been involved with is how confusing everything became,” stated Amy Witherite. “I found it difficult to make logical decisions, because everything felt so chaotic. That’s why the major goal of our firm is to keep your life running after a truck wreck. When things come to a stop, your life is so much more difficult. We keep things going, and get you back on your feet.”
Company Name: Eberstein Witherite, LLP
Contact Person: Lucy Tiseo
Country: United States