Does Avoiding Left Turns Save Gas?

Taking a left turn often means waiting for a light or an opening in oncoming traffic. Time spent with the engine idling means fuel spent. On the other hand, right turns can be made without waiting. A left turn can be replaced by three right turns. Of course, three right turns make the total distance travelled greater. So the question arises: can you save on gas overall by only making right turns? The distance will be greater, but the time spent idling could be lower.

The answer will depend on the vehicle, traffic patterns, type of route and many other things. In particular cases the difference can be measured. The videos below show the Mythbusters television program's experiments on the issue.

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