For many people, the drive to work does not always involve a commute on highways or the interstate. In more rural areas, the roads are often single lane or dual lane roads, which make it very difficult to overtake or be overtaken by other motorists. To make driving less frustrating for everybody concerned and to help the traffic flow, turnout areas are periodically placed at the side of the road. If used correctly, the turnout area will ensure that vehicles can drive efficiently to their destination.

turn out area on the side of the road

Turnouts should not be used by tired drivers to sleep or somewhere to just relax. The time to use turnout areas when driving is if you have at least five cars following you and are eager to pass you. Not only is it polite and thoughtful, but by using the area, there is less chance of causing a road traffic accident. 

It is not mandatory by law to use turnouts when driving in most states in America, but you are expected to do so. While driving in California, the law stipulates that motorists do have to use turnouts on roads where there are limited or no legal places to overtake. 

One of the more common reasons for road traffic accidents is drivers overtaking on blind corners and on the crest of a rise in the road. To help people to overtake other drivers when the road does not safely allow passing another driver, turnouts were introduced to help solve the problem that many road users experienced.  

Turnouts will often be identified by signs strategically placed before motorists reach the area. This is not necessarily always the case, meaning that drivers who are unfamiliar with the road they are traveling on should pay attention to the road ahead in case they need to use a turnout at some point on their journey.

While most people do not think about how much turnouts help the road traffic to run smoothly and reduce accidents, turnouts are not only used on our roads. Another form of mass transport that employs the use of turnouts is the national railway network in the United States and all over the world. Without turnouts, the railway network would not be able to run, unlike on the roads   where there are opportunities to overtake even without turnouts present itself.

On the railroad network overtaking and passing oncoming trains would be completely impossible without turnouts at regular intervals and at every station.

Turnouts may not be essential to road users; they are very much appreciated by motorists. In areas that are confined by the space the road can occupy, turnouts are often the only sensible option that is available to civil engineers or urban planners. Many people underestimate the role that turnouts play in helping to reduce road traffic accidents and maintain the flow of traffic.

The most critical part that turnouts play is the safety aspect they provide. After all, there is nothing more important than arriving at your destination safely and well, even if you are a bit late.