They say that two wrongs don’t make a right, but three rights do make a left. UPS knows this, and since 2007, the U.S.-based delivery company has been purposely avoiding left-hand turns in their route planning—a strategy that has, according to their website, saved them 30 million of miles of travel and 3 million gallons of gas.
While it’s in the company’s interest to deliver the goods as quickly as possible using the least amount of fuel, this increased efficiency has also, based on their estimations, prevented an additional 32,000 tons of CO2 from being emitted—the equivalent of taking 5,300 cars off the road for a year (or, presumably, slightly fewer doorless brown trucks).
The reason for this reduction is simple: vehicles idle more when waiting to turn left against traffic and also come to more complete stops, which in turn requires more gas-guzzling acceleration. Turning right, on the other hand, often involves less waiting—and in UPS’s case, more delivering.
Of course, by the same logic, you could save fuel by running red lights—but you didn’t hear it from us.