If bad drivers are my pet peeve, slow turners aggravate me to no end. We live in a society that puts high value on fast – fast food, fast service, fast relief, fast workouts, etc. Yet, for some reason, a significant portion of people don’t believe the fast mindset should apply to turning. Sure, high speed turns are probably not the safest option, but make a normal paced one at the very least. Why do certain people come to an almost complete stop before going through the full motion? What is happening here? Turns are not stops. They are simply a way to change the direction your front bumper is facing.
Is it a turn radius issue? Because I believe that even older cars are still fully capable of making a regular turn with some sort of speed on the wheels. If, however, you opt to only partially turn the wheel then yes, that certainly is a turn radius issue, but a user generated one and not a mechanical oversight. If you turn the wheel all the way, though, it’s fascinating how efficiently your car will pivot without you having to stop and readjust the wheel alignment somewhere else. Once moving, simply remove your foot from the gas pedal, turn the wheel (not partially, get that crap out of here), and accelerate into the turn. Otherwise you’re holding up traffic and making people angry. Horn angry in a lot of cases.
There’s three main issues with slow turners:
- They feel a need to basically stop completely at each turn – this is rarely necessary
- They don’t give into the turn radius – your car can handle it, it’s been well tested
- They finally complete a turn and fail to pick up any sort of speed out of it
Needless to say, slow turners are not destined for any sort of vehicle sport. Legal or otherwise. As previously mentioned, knowing the difference between a Stop sign and a Yield sign should be part of the driving test. They are NOT the same thing. Likewise, a turn is not always at a Stop sign. And when it’s not, drivers behind you are not expecting a stop, or anything under 10 MPH honestly. Half the speed limit sure. But half of that?! No. Get out. If it happens to be a Stop sign, please refer to my lesson on handling those HERE.
I think another key miss on turns is the acceleration portion of it. As much as slow turners test my patience, there are cases when it’s necessary. If it’s a narrow driveway and there’s a car waiting to come out. If there’s a steep curb. If the angle is 90 degrees, or less. If there is an animal crossing, or a pedestrian. That’s pretty much it, though. Those do not occur 100% of the time. Anyways, once we have finally turned, it’s important to then add speed to make up for what was lost when attempting a safe turn. And I don’t mean a tap on the gas pedal. Hit it like you’re trying to merge onto a highway. Get up to speed! How are you going to turn like someone who doesn’t have power steering capabilities, then maintain that tragically slow turn speed for the next mile?! Oh my … don’t even get me started on speed limits. Not a suggestion. Not really the maximum. If we’re being transparent, speed limits are a minimum limit between the law and what police will comfortably allow you to get away with.
Long story short, successful turns happen around 50% of the speed limit, maximizing the car’s turn radius (that was something you looked at when purchasing it after all, surely), and then accelerating. Is that so hard? No. It’s three things. You remember three things all the time without realizing it probably. For example, you remembered to like this post, subscribe to the blog, and follow TRP on Twitter.
Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who would enjoy this post and want to share it with them, that would be awesome. Sharing is caring, after all. Don’t forget to subscribe to get these in your inbox twice weekly and follow TRP on Twitter for frequent musings. Thanks for reading!
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