September 1, 2006

Take a left at the light, no wait ...

By DC Velocity Staff

Most of us don't think twice about making a left turn, but UPS drivers do everything they can to avoid them. In fact, the Atlanta-based parcel shipping giant reportedly programs its trucks' route planning and navigational software to minimize the number of left turns the vehicles make.

The reason? To conserve fuel. UPS spokesman Steve Holmes told trade publication Multichannel Merchant that reducing the number of left turns cuts down on unnecessary idling at red lights where "right on red" is an option, thereby lowering fuel consumption. Even if "right on red" is not an option, he added, making a right turn at an intersection tends to be faster than a left turn, since you only have to wait for one lane of traffic to clear. "It seems small," he conceded, "but when you multiply it across 88,000 vehicles making nearly 15 million deliveries every day during the course of a year, it adds up."


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