I remember one of the first lessons of driving way back when: three right turns equals a left turn. Why was that so important? Because at very busy intersections it can be downright dangerous to turn left. Think about it. Hanging out there in the middle of the intersection, cars coming fast towards you, cars flying by on your right.
Then, when that light turns yellow, red light rushers speeding up to make it through the intersection before it switches. Making it all worse is when someone from the opposite direction is turning left too. You both crane your necks to try to see around the other car, then when you “think” it’s clear, you hammer on the gas pedal and pray you weren’t mistaken and that no one broadsides you.
Sounds ridiculous, no? Yet we deal with that daily. According to this article at autoblog.com, the safer way to do it is with a “superstreet.” Superstreets are streets that force drivers to make a right-hand turn and then a U-turn. Smithsonian Magazine has conducted research of 13 superstreet intersections and determined, on average, a 20% decrease in travel time and 46% fewer reported traffic collisions. Perhaps the most important stat was a 63% decrease in accidents that caused personal injury.
[Image: jimmyweee / Flickr]