QOTD: To Turn, or Not to Turn?

Tim Healey
by Tim Healey

Many press programs allow us keyboard warriors to wheel whatever car we're testing on some twisty two-lane road that has almost nothing in the way of passing zones. Today's drive of the new Dodge Hornet was no exception.

These roads do, however, often have turnouts.

Turnouts, of course, exist for a few reasons. Slower traffic can pull over to let faster drivers pass. Drivers who have car trouble can pull to the side to avoid blocking traffic. People who want to take in a scenic view can stop and gaze. And those who have had too much water or coffee and can't manage to make it to the next bathroom can take care of the problem.

Today's QOTD focuses on the first of these. As an American who has driven in around 40-ish states, I've noticed that we Yanks are terrible at using turnouts for this purpose. Frustratingly so. I've also driven in Canada a few times, and I noticed you hosers up north are much better at this. You polite people!

This came to mind today when I was bombing through the woodsy North Carolina mountains and came upon a Ford Explorer with Florida plates -- it screamed rental car -- that was dawdling at a pace that would frustrate me even if I wasn't hustling along at a spirited pace in the name of automobile testing. This driver -- who also used the brakes unnecessarily at a rate that would make the pads wear prematurely, thus making their local service advisor or parts dealer salivate and see dollar signs -- passed several turnouts, either oblivious to my presence or uncaring that they were clogging the way.

I even pulled over into turnouts myself at least twice, twiddling my thumbs and counting seconds to give them space. Both times I caught the Explorer within a mile or two after getting back on the road.

This isn't the first time this has happened -- years ago I drove California's famed Pacific Coast Highway. While I did get aggressive at times, I was mostly keeping a leisurely pace. Still, I came across slow-moving RVs and clapped-out old pickup trucks fairly often. Even if the drivers wanted to go faster, these rides weren't capable of much past 45 mph. Yet the chances that these folks would use the many available turnouts to let me by were slim.

Those are just two examples of over a decade's worth of frustration that I've experienced on roads from sea to shining sea in this great nation.

So, I ask of you -- are you a polite, responsible driver who will let faster traffic pass, knowing it will only cost you mere seconds? Or do you shun turnouts?

Be honest. You know what you should say -- but I want to hear what you actually do.

Sound off below.

[Image: Rosamar/Shutterstock.com]

Become a TTAC insider. Get the latest news, features, TTAC takes, and everything else that gets to the truth about cars first by  subscribing to our newsletter.

Tim Healey
Tim Healey

Tim Healey grew up around the auto-parts business and has always had a love for cars — his parents joke his first word was “‘Vette”. Despite this, he wanted to pursue a career in sports writing but he ended up falling semi-accidentally into the automotive-journalism industry, first at Consumer Guide Automotive and later at Web2Carz.com. He also worked as an industry analyst at Mintel Group and freelanced for About.com, CarFax, Vehix.com, High Gear Media, Torque News, FutureCar.com, Cars.com, among others, and of course Vertical Scope sites such as AutoGuide.com, Off-Road.com, and HybridCars.com. He’s an urbanite and as such, doesn’t need a daily driver, but if he had one, it would be compact, sporty, and have a manual transmission.

More by Tim Healey

Join the conversation
2 of 15 comments
  • Tankinbeans Tankinbeans on Mar 17, 2023

    I live in Minnesota and don't know of any such roads within easy distance of the twin cities. With that said, I'm usually keeping up with traffic, on the freeways, up to about 78 mph. I keep right except to pass, but get aggravated when there's a numpty clogging the roads creating the infamous flying V.

  • Dr Mindbender Dr Mindbender on Aug 10, 2023

    I'm going to venture that people who are ignorant of their surroundings when driving are also ignorant of publications and forums such as this, where all sorts of automotive wisdom abounds. Therefore, as expected, the ratio of people that pull over for faster cars to those that don't will be "infinity:0" or thereabouts.

  • Ltcmgm78 Imagine the feeling of fulfillment he must have when he looks upon all the improvements to the Corvette over time!
  • ToolGuy "The car is the eye in my head and I have never spared money on it, no less, it is not new and is over 30 years old."• Translation please?(Theories: written by AI; written by an engineer lol)
  • Ltcmgm78 It depends on whether or not the union is a help or a hindrance to the manufacturer and workers. A union isn't needed if the manufacturer takes care of its workers.
  • Honda1 Unions were needed back in the early days, not needed know. There are plenty of rules and regulations and government agencies that keep companies in line. It's just a money grad and nothing more. Fain is a punk!
  • 1995 SC If the necessary number of employees vote to unionize then yes, they should be unionized. That's how it works.