As part of my recent reading about FedEx and UPS, I came across the 340 methods that UPS drivers are trained in and expected to follow as part of their delivery process.
The company’s “340 Methods,” dates to the 1920s and tells drivers the most efficient way to do just about anything. (There now are more than 340.) Such as buckling your seat belt with your left hand while starting the ignition with your right, beeping your horn every three seconds when backing up for safety, which foot to step off the truck with, and which pocket to keep your pen in.
One of the ones I find most interesting is avoiding left turns. Apparently left turns are more dangerous and consume more gas.
Mythbusters even put this rule to the test:
As you can see, using right turns only resulted in driving ore miles, yet still using less gas.
UPS have designed their vehicle routing software to eliminate as many left-hand turns as possible (in countries with right-hand traffic). Typically, only 10% of the turns are left turns. As a result, the company claims it uses 10m gallons less fuel, emits 20,000 tonnes less carbon dioxide and delivers 350,000 more packages every year. The efficiency of planning routes with its navigation software this way has even helped the firm cut the number of trucks it uses by 1,100, bringing down the company’s total distance travelled by 28.5m miles – despite the longer routes.
UPS is not the only organization looking to reduce left turns. New York City is trying to solve is how to make its streets safer by reducing the number of left turns drivers make. Left turns are among the most difficult and the most dangerous. In New York City, they’re three times as likely to kill pedestrians. Back in 2015, two New York Council members are asking Google Maps to plot routes to reduce left turns. The computer would tell you to go right, then right and then right again. They figure that cutting down on the number of times a driver has to cut across several lanes of traffic will save lives. It could also give your brain a rest. A 2013 study in the Frontiers Human Neuroscience revealed that making a left-hand turn involves greater brain function than a right-hand turn.
So there you have it.
Three right turns make a left.
But they also save gas, save lives, and make you smarter.
It’s a win-win-win…
*image from Transport Topics News