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!


FOLLOW TRP

Follow TRP on Twitter for shorter, daily insights on life as a millennial.

Get new content delivered directly to your inbox for maximum procrastination.

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!


FOLLOW TRP

Follow TRP on Twitter for shorter, daily insights on life as a millennial.

Get new content delivered directly to your inbox for maximum procrastination.