July 1, 2022

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Left turns are dangerous.  Now science wants to kill them

Left turns are dangerous. Now science wants to kill them

For drivers around the world, turning left is one of the most dangerous maneuvers on the road. According to some studies, approximately 61% of all collisions that occur at intersections involve a left turn. why? Mainly because this movement sends you against traffic and into the track where the rest of the cars are coming from the opposite direction. Then because most of it is done at the discretion of drivers.

Despite the fact that experts have long called for the yellow flags to last longer, some scientists explain that removing them directly would improve driving times and It would save many lives.

Why are they dangerous? Because they occur at intersections, where cars cross each other in different directions and at a fairly high speed. Around 40% of all crashes happen in these areas, including 50% of serious injuries and 20% of those involving fatalities. Traffic lights make things easier, yes. But without a left turn, the car can easily move in the north-south direction while the east-west direction is off, and vice versa.

How to remove them. If there is one way to accommodate left turns, it is to make vehicles wait until enough space appears in oncoming traffic. Something that depends on the driver to be completely safe. And let’s face it, everyone knows how frustrating it is. Being stuck behind a waiting car To turn left on a busy highway.

The other way? Stop oncoming traffic and give the cars a left turn with their green arrow. Safer, yes, but it shuts down the entire intersection for the rest, and slows down.

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Picture of a common intersection on Spanish roads.

What does science say? Scientists at Penn State University say getting rid of left-hand turns is the smartest way to fix clutter. A new study was published in transport research log Try to find the right balance between strategically eliminating these maneuvers without trying to put too much burden on drivers to travel long distances

It has been tried before. In fact, UPS changed delivery methods to reduce left turns In 2004 drivers reduced trip times, fuel consumption and carbon emissions. Although it may seem silly, the results are quite the opposite. The company says it saves 37 million liters of fuel annually, 20,000 tons of carbon emissions and allows it to deliver an additional 350,000 packages.

How will it work? Simply by planning ahead for direction and turning right more than once. That is, instead of turning left once, we should turn right three times, and go around the “apple” once. It is not something that cannot be done. Some cities like San Francisco, Salt Lake City and Wilmington, Delaware already have a limited left turn. Is it worth traveling 600 meters more? yes. over here Several scientists have explained how the waiting time is sometimes longer than just traveling further.

Something similar to what is happening in this image:

Turn left.

But delete them all? Eliminating left turns can be a very difficult task and some of them don’t really cause any problems. But if a city wanted to eliminate them, how would it choose which one? The exact answer for each city, as suggested by This article is from the conversationIt depends on how the streets are laid out, where vehicles come and go from, and how much traffic is on the street during rush hours.

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According to the research, there is a clear conclusion: Left turn restrictions are more effective at busy intersections in the center of towns or cities than at less crowded intersections further from the city centre. This is because the busier the intersection, the more people will benefit from a smoother flow of traffic.