What’s the shortest route between any two points? It depends on your mode of travel. If you happen to be trying to get through heavily traveled streets, it can be faster to take the route that seems longer.
Cabbies, delivery people and UPS drivers all know that it’s often easier (and safer) to make three left turns instead of a right turn when they’re trying to weave through urban traffic.
The shortest distance isn’t always the quickest or safest way to go
UPS, which has helped revolutionize package delivery services, has moved away from telling drivers to take the route that offers the shortest number of miles in favor of routes that are both less inclined to delays and safer.
Intersections are scary places when you’re on the road — and making a left-hand turn is particularly so. Turning left can be more time-consuming than turning right because drivers have to wait for lights to turn and a clear path, but it’s also more dangerous to turn left than right.
When a vehicle turns left, it must pass in front of one or more lanes of cross traffic. Doing that automatically puts the turning vehicle at risk of a wreck with an errant driver who either jumps a green light, runs a red or simply isn’t paying attention to the flow of traffic. Often, drivers can circumvent left turns by making three rights. If the streets are laid out in a grid pattern, that will eventually take them where they want to go, without either slowing down or risking an accident.
If you are involved in a wreck while trying to wind your way through city streets, don’t assume that your injuries are mild. Make sure that you get the appropriate medical evaluations right away so that you can protect your right to compensation for your losses.