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Waze Will No Longer Tell You To Make Horrendous Left Turns

(Photo by René C. Nielsen via the Creative Commons on Flickr)
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So you're driving and taking directions from the voice on your phone. You're on time. Traffic isn't too bad. Then, suddenly, you find yourself at a risky intersection where you're forced to make a left onto a busy, high-speed thoroughfare. There's no stoplight to bail you out. In these cases you sometimes throw caution to the wind and go for it. Other times you're stuck waiting for that gap, while disgruntled drivers honk at you from behind.

If you use Waze, you're probably a little too familiar with this scenario. The app often encourages drivers to take less crowded side streets to save time, which is great. But the resulting unprotected left turns can be terrifying, and if you get stuck, it doesn't feel like you're saving all that much time.

Now the sometimes polarizing navigation app is trying to save Angelenos from these scenarios, reports the L.A. Times. The company announced Wednesday that the app will usher L.A. drivers away from tricky intersections that require a left turn. This may come at a cost for drivers, however: the new routes may take longer.

The app will rely on user feedback to determine which intersections are difficult. So far Waze has compiled a list of about 100 problematic intersections, such as the turn from Selby Ave. onto Pico Blvd. in West Los Angeles.

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For those brave users who laugh in the face of danger, they will still have the option to stick with the original routes, a spokesperson told the Times. The new feature is expected to launch in New Orleans next, reports CNET, though a launch date has yet to be released.

Left turns have gotten a bad rap in the past few years. UPS actually launched a whole investigation into the matter. Their engineers concluded that it was best for their deliverymen to minimize, or eliminate completely, the number of left turns they make while driving. The effects, apparently, are kind of staggering. According to UPS, from 2004 to 2012 the no-lefts decision has saved 10 million gallons of gas, and reduced carbon emissions by 100,000 metric tons.

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