QOTD: To Turn, or Not to Turn?

Tim Healey
by Tim Healey

qotd to turn or not to turn

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]

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2 of 14 comments
  • Norman Stansfield Norman Stansfield on Mar 16, 2023

    Turnouts exits so that Opie Winston can get his justice & Irish thugs their comeuppance.


  • 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.

  • Wolfwagen I worked for a few companies that have used Transit Connects for service or delivery and of course as Cabs in NYC (NV200 are the best cabs in NYC- plenty of legroom). I had never seen one as a passenger vehicle until a few months ago when I saw one at the local HD parking lot. It looked great for a small family or even an active couple that needs secure storage. However, I have never seen any advertisement from Ford for this model/trim
  • Bike It's a bizarre conversation, for us folks outside the US.
  • RICK Once had 78 TOWN COUPE and wish I had never let it go! Ultimate OTT excessive luxury! Have since had RWD FLEETWOODS, RWD Fifth Avenues ,as well as 89 Lincoln Town Car Signature Series and current 2007 TOWN CAR Signature Limited! All great cars, but 77 through 79 was KING 🤴 of the road! So sad to see what is now considered a luxury vehicle 😢. Who wants to drive a glorified truck 🚚?
  • Kwik_Shift There are better cars to drop $80G on.
  • 28-Cars-Later Opulence!