UPS drivers only make right turns – fact of fiction? Fact; that is, mostly.
The truth is, in 2004 UPS enacted a policy for their drivers to avoid ALL left hand turns whenever possible and practicable. The result is that UPS drivers make right hand turns more than 90% of the time, turning left only in sparsely populated residential neighborhoods or when right turns are otherwise unavailable or impractical. UPS explains the strategy: Years ago … UPS engineers began to devise route-optimization plans to increase efficiency, reduce fuel consumption and get drivers back to their centers earlier. They came up with a simple rule. Minimize – or sometimes, eliminate – left-hand turns. It’s simple but effective. Since 2004 UPS has saved an estimated 10 million gallons of gas. Carbon emissions were reduced by 100,000 metric tons – the equivalent of 5,300 cars off the road for an entire year. Even if this meant traveling a greater distance, results showed that more packages could be delivered in less time with reduced emissions by driving in a series of right-hand loops. It helped the bottom line, met consumer demands and increased safety.
The Washington Post reported that “Left turns are unsafe for everyone.” Federal data have shown that 53.1 percent of crossing-path crashes involve left turns, but only 5.7 percent involve right turns. That’s almost 10 times as many crashes involving left turns as right. A study by New York City’s transportation planners concluded that left-hand 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 involve a left-hand turn in front of a motorcycle, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association. “Left turns create some concerns when it comes to generating potential for congestion, back-up traffic flow, safety, accident situations,” said Phil Caruso, the deputy executive director for technical programs at the Institute of Transportation Engineers.
Let’s make a spiritual application. Choosing to only make right turns is a bit like choosing to only do the right thing. Sure, there are plenty of left turns that would get you where you “think” you want to go, but at what cost? Following God’s way – the right way – will certainly take you on a more circuitous route (it might seem), but you can be sure that you will avoid a lot of unnecessary troubles along the way. “The way of the just is uprightness: thou that art upright dost direct the path of the just” (Isa. 26:7). “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man; But the end thereof are the ways of death” (Pro. 14:12). My friends, always do the “right” thing.
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