YES, YOU CAN MAKE A TURN WITHOUT COMING TO A COMPLETE STOP

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:

  1. They feel a need to basically stop completely at each turn – this is rarely necessary
  2. They don’t give into the turn radius – your car can handle it, it’s been well tested
  3. 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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PSA: YIELD SIGNS AND STOP SIGNS ARE NOT THE SAME

There is nothing that irks me more than bad drivers. I can’t stress that sentence enough: bad drivers are my pet peeve! The reason I scream at my windshield and take my hands off the wheel to throw them up in frustration. The reason I usually show up at work stressed out (ok, this may be somewhat related to other circumstances … like the fact that I’m driving to work), but you get the point. I’m always amazed at how the overall quality of driving seems to decrease overnight. Every. Freaking. Night. Has the driving test gotten easier to pass? Is it now a pay-to-drive scheme where you just have to show up with cash and the person at the DMV is like ‘OK, let’s take your picture – you have 3 hours for that right?’.

I’m not going to say how many years it has been since I took the driving test, but for fun let’s say enough for my parent’s car insurance to drop down and they no longer have to sell their souls so I can drive. I almost failed my driving test before I left the parking lot because the radio was on and that is “distracting”. Literally turned the car on and the employee gave me this how dare you look and said ‘Really?! That’s how you want to start this test?!’. Being the clueless, snarky, idiot that I was, I replied, ‘Well, it’s hard to drive without turning the car on’. Which technically, is very true, but I should have known better and just brown-nosed it because my freedom (from having to be driven everywhere) was now in this (angry) employee’s hands. As you can imagine, it was a stressful drive and my every move was criticized. At one point when turning left, I looked left first, then right … is that incorrect? Not sure, but apparently it was that day.

Anyways, I digress. I have a lot of thoughts on the stupid things some drivers do, however, today I want to just put it out to the world that yield signs and stop signs are not the same thing. At all. In fact, they serve very different purposes. Let’s start with the obvious, one is an octagon that says STOP and the other is a triangle that says YIELD. That alone should be enough, but unfortunately, it is not so let’s go a little deeper.

The STOP sign (with 8 sides, remember from up there?) is where you have to come to a complete stop – wheels aren’t moving. You can safely look both ways and then proceed from 0 MPH as you please. Funny how people usually forget the one action item here, which, of course is to STOP! As much as I enjoy that moment of panic when I’m driving by a stop sign and the other car decides to read stop as roll (this isn’t a fire drill – it’s just stop, there is no drop, and there is definitely no roll), I much prefer the relief that comes with someone fully stopped and not moving at all. What does it say about drivers, though, that I now expect people to roll and get pleasantly surprised when someone doesn’t? I mean, in their defense, stop and roll both have four letters and both have an o in the middle(ish) of the word. So, yes, I guess I could see how that would be super confusing. If only the sign was clearer.

Now that we are through the complicatedness that is a stop sign, prepare yourself, because we are about to look at the YIELD sign. Unlike the stop sign, you do not have to stop at a yield sign if no one is coming. There’s a lot to break down here, so let’s start with part numero uno. I realize that the sign is red (like a stop sign) and has a similar shape being a triangle (almost like an octagon, just with 5 fewer sides), but you do not have to stop! In fact, people aren’t expecting you to stop, so when you do, someone has to slam on their brakes to avoid hitting your selfish rear-end. Look at it this way, stopping at a yield sign is basically the same thing as deciding to stop in the middle of the freaking road. Which is not safe driving!

But wait, there’s more to this epidemic: you don’t have to stop, IF NO ONE IS COMING. In other words, if someone is coming, you do not have the right of way and you have to stop. I realize this is very confusing for people – maybe that’s why they stop at all of them? Fewer things to remember. Keeping it simple, stupid as that is. Deciding to merge full speed into traffic is rarely a good idea and I do not recommend it. Especially if I am the driver with the right of way. Those people are the reason I have to constantly know who’s in the lane next to me, who’s behind me, etc. so I can know if I have an escape swerve option or not. Them and also the safe rules of driving.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If someone you know is suffering from stopield confusion then, by all means, share this post with them and help get them back to leading a normal, safe driving lifestyle. Thanks for reading!


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DEAR CAR COMMERCIALS: PUT IT IN PARK

We live in a world full of expectations. Everything has an expectation attached to it. How to dress, who to hang out with, when to get married, how much money to make, which side of the Earth the sun will rise on, how much is a “single serving” of food, etc. I have a lot of thoughts on the current state of “serving sizes” and how unrealistic those are (you can read more on that in THIS POST), but I don’t want to derail in the opening paragraph.

Personally, I like to defy social expectations – sometimes by choice, usually based on external factors, and occasionally because I’m simply oblivious. For example, apparently there’s an unspoken rule where if you (an adult) are in a line and there are children behind you, you (the adult) are supposed to let the children cut in front because…I don’t actually know why. Because they’re rude and have no manners?! Do they have priority? What gives them this priority? I’m older, smarter, more successful, less messy, better mannered, educated, a social contributor to the economy, I can go on and on. Besides, learning patience is a valuable skill, so I definitely do not let their tears sway me. Wait your turn, like the rest of us, to pet the owl. 

However, there are certain expectations that are just the worst when they don’t turn out how you imagined in the land of rainbows, unicorns, and no bills. Can you guess what the most frustrating one is? Yes! Car commercials! I believe we are all on the same page here. Let’s talk about the massive amount of expectations that car commercials put on the consumer. And then all the let downs that come from that.

For starters, where is all the traffic? Does your car repel other cars? If I buy it, will I never have to deal with other drivers? It’s very obvious that you’re in a major city, so is it a zombie apocalypse? Why are you not evacuating? Is this car also plague / zombie / natural disaster proof? For the cars that are shown driving in the countryside, this still applies. Where are all the people of Earth?! There’s 7.7 BILLION people on Earth and you’re telling me you saw NO ONE?! How do I get this magic in my life?! Ironically, it’s the cars driving through the desert, or a winter storm, that always seem to find companions. That would be where I would expect no other people to be with you. Everything I thought I knew about roads, and traffic, is clearly a lie thanks to the commercials.

Traffic questions aside, what’s the deal with parking? If you show me over and over that said car can ALWAYS find a spot right in front of their destination, or be in a completely empty (and free it seems) parking garage, I’m going to believe that buying the same car will bring this luck into my driving life. Not sure exactly how this works, but I’m assuming if you arrive at your destination, the driving gods will simply yeet the current vehicle in said spot somewhere else. Seems logical. If I lost you at yeet, here’s a 2 second breakdown for you: yeet is to throw, yoink is to grab. A quarterback yeets the ball to a receiver, a dog yoinks meat off the counter. With me? Excellent, welcome to life as a Gen Z’er. 

So far, this car seems freaking amazing. No traffic, parking everywhere, what else can it do? Fit everyone and their mom into the back? Yes. Drive up a staircase? Yes. Navigate turns at high speeds, but only on a closed course with a professional driver? Yes. Fit my entire house into the cargo unit? Yes. Play my favorite television shows on the entertainment center? Yes. Drive itself? Basically. Come with a giant festive bow on top? Of course. Sit in the driveway of the house I can’t currently afford, but maybe this car prints money too? Well, duh. Why else would someone buy a car?

Has it won any awards, you’re probably wondering? Oh boy, let me tell you about every single J.D. Power and MotorTrend trophy that has been given to this car. An award for color options, bucket seat depth, sunroof width, number of cameras, optional add ons, aluminum framing, stain resistant interior accessories, etc. In the world I grew up in, only one person could win. Yet, it seems like every car has won the same rewards. They feel more like participation trophies at this point. 

This is just the basics of every car commercial. No wonder I am constantly let down by mine. I have to drive it MYSELF. The trunk can actually fill up with stuff. At some point, no more people fit into the backseat. I still frequently have to park miles away. My daily commute is 10% driving and 90% staring at brake lights. I’ve never tried to go extreme with my vehicle because what if the sand dunes sink or get all up in my air filter? What if the massive puddle floods my engine? If I get halfway up the stairs and lose momentum, will I get stuck or slide back down? If my vents were shooting out Franklins I’d be testing this thing to the max, but I’m still waiting for my payday. Ironically, I’m paying the dealer a LOT of money so hopefully this return on investment is coming any day now.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who recently bought a new car from a commercial, let them know that it’s too good to be true. If you know someone considering upgrading, pass this along so they can be forewarned. Thanks for reading!


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I’M SO GLAD I’M PARKED ON THE HIGHWAY FOR AN ACCIDENT ON THE OTHER SIDE

We’re a curious species aren’t we? Always needing to know what’s happening regardless of what we are doing at that moment. Even if it’s something potentially dangerous like, say, driving, or entering the nuclear codes. 

Let’s take a journey to imagination island. Imagine if you were driving at a high speed (maybe…on a highway) and there are other cars all around you, because it’s rush hour, and something happens on the other side of the road (let’s say a fender bender, which has ZERO impact on your drive by the way). How do you react? Do you:

A. Keep your eyes on the road and maintain your speed because it’s dangerous not to

B. Glance briefly and hope everyone is ok, but keep on keeping on at your speed

C. Stop and stare

Just to be clear, C is not an acceptable answer in this scenario. I get it – you want to be nosy and feel a little better about being a good driver and paying attention. Oh, the irony there kills me. How can you judge the person who caused the accident when you yourself are about to cause another one?! Spoiler Alert: going from 70 to 10 on a HIGHWAY is not something the driver behind you is expecting. You might very well be the next fender bender victim. Who knows, maybe the first one was caused because one of the drivers saw a bird, or new construction starting  (you can get my thoughts on road construction in THIS POST) and slowed down to get a better look.

What’s worse than slowing down for something unrelated to your current drive? Being an innocent bystander stopped miles away from the site of the crash that happened on the other side of the road. Why does my commute have to get tripled because you can’t stop your eyes from wandering? I’m going to be late to work (and of course there’s an early meeting because the work gods are evil like that), my fuel efficiency is plummeting, odds are my preferred parking space will be taken, and my bladder is not cooperating. Then when you FINALLY reach the scene of the crime, there’s nothing left. So I’ve inched along at less than 5 MPH and I don’t even get to see what happened?! What a cruel world this can be. 

Needless to say, it would be better for everyone if you simply kept going at the stated speed limit. If you do happen to take your foot off the gas, please, for the sake of everyone else on the road, do it very quickly and then (very quickly) get back up to speed. All I want is to stop the madness of highway parking lots. If you live in a city, though, where you’re stopped simply because of the amount of people, then I can’t help you. Move somewhere else, explore public transportation, or live within walking distance of the office.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who tends to be an extra curious driver, share this post with them so they understand the ripple effect of their actions. Even better, ride with them and be that annoying backseat driver until they learn – highways are for driving and parking lots are for stopping. Thanks for reading!


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HONKING WON’T MAKE TRAFFIC MOVE ANY FASTER

The car horn can save lives…when used correctly. Unfortunately, like most things with good intentions, it gets abused. Heavily, obnoxiously, unnecessarily abused. Despite popular belief, the sound of a car horn is not pleasant and doesn’t instill feelings of confidence, peace, and joy. No, the car horn usually evokes feelings of panic, fear, and anger. So why do so many drivers think it’s acceptable to play a little horn karaoke during every commute that they take?

This may come as a surprise for our horn-loving friends, but your horn is not all powerful. In fact, it cannot do any of the following:

  • Make ALL the cars in front of the one you’re stopped behind move
  • Clear up an intersection traffic jam
  • Make a lane blocking accident disappear into thin air
  • Change a light from red to green
  • Make a highway parking lot suddenly move
  • Force the pedestrian to walk faster
  • Make the muscle movement to take the foot off the brake and put it on the gas any faster than immediate when the light turns green

If any of those surprise you, or if you just disagree, then you are a horn abuser and need to chill. Clearly you are hoping to accomplish one of those things, right? But you can’t. It’s impossible. That’s not how the car horn works! Let me enlighten you on the PROPER ways to use your horn:

  • To scare the crap out of someone who is trying to merge into your lane, but isn’t paying attention and is about to merge into you
  • To scare the crap out of an oblivious pedestrian who thinks that the crosswalk rules don’t apply to them and just cross the street wherever…even in the middle of traffic
  • To scare the crap out of a driver who is backing up, but not paying attention, and is about to back right into your front bumper
  • To scare the crap out of a pedestrian who doesn’t believe in speed and is literally crawling across the crosswalk for zero reason
  • To scare the crap out of someone who isn’t paying attention to the traffic lights and has been sitting at the green light for more than 5 seconds (because reaction times vary)

In other words, horns are used to scare the crap out of people so they don’t hurt you, or themselves. Otherwise, it just pisses people off and trains them not to pay attention to the piercing, eardrum-bursting, sound that is a horn. So in effect, you horn-happy idiots are making it worse. Do you not get that?! Especially since the state of drivers in this country is already questionable, at best. We don’t need to give them one more excuse to drive like brainless children.

So the next time you’re stuck in traffic, and are late, and have to use the bathroom, and are already in a terrible mood because work, just roll your window down and let the drivers in front of you know how you really feel about sitting on the highway. Save the horn for when it actually counts – to save lives. Words are more powerful than sounds anyways because it allows you to elaborate in a colorful manner and really get your point across. Sounds are interpreted differently by everyone so they might think you’re just honking because you love Jesus. Stop the madness, end the unnecessary honking, and learn how to communicate with others.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who tends to lay on the horn for no reason, pass this along so they can practice verbalizing their thoughts and opinions on me instead of simply using a horrible sound to try and relay a point. Thanks for reading!


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