Bends and Corners

A driver never has anyone responsible but himself if he pops the road on a bend. The results are often disastrous, especially if such foolhardy driving results in a collision with another vehicle. Yet drivers often don’t regard themselves as being guilty – excuses could also be given about adverse camber , the road being greasy or the curve tightening up unexpectedly. Any of those are often factors in an accident, but never the cause. the reason for going off the road always lies in bad driving in one form or another.

Cornering in a car

Although cornering during a car may require as little as a turn of the wheel , there’s a little more to it than that. For an entire novice, or a learner with little experience, it’s often difficult to determine where the kerb on the left side of the car is in reference to the car. This is often where reference points or markers are beneficial. It’s beneficial to use reference markers for many aspects of the training to drive procedure.

As are often seen on the image to the left, turning a right-hand corner, you’ll see where the kerb enters the car at the highest of the dashboard. A reference marker are often placed during this area (a small sticker will do, or just remember where the kerb comes into the car) to determine the right distance the car is from the kerb whilst cornering.

If the kerb goes over to the proper an excessive amount of past the reference marker, you’re getting too on the brink of the kerb, too left and you’re too distant . This reference marker is additionally ideal to determine a perfect distance from the kerb whilst traveling during a line also.

To establish the right reference markers, ask your instructor once you are the right distance from the kerb and either remember where the kerb comes into the dashboard, or stop the car (in a secure area on a quiet road) and place alittle sticker where the kerb comes in. This reference marker should be used as an estimate only and used temporarily until you are feeling proficient enough to determine the correct distance from the kerb without their use.

Cornering forces

It is worth analysing the forces which act on a car when it’s steered round a corner. A car’s momentum takes it in a line (just sort of a ball struck true and straight down the fairway) until the driver turns the steering wheel. The front wheels move to an edge at an angle to the straight path they’re following and the car starts to show into the bend. At now force begins to act, trying to push the car outwards within the same way that a piece of string with a weight at the top tautens once you swing it round within the air. This force is felt inside the car as it pushes you sideways in your seat, faraway from the inside of the bend. A car with soft suspension also reacts by rolling down on its springs on the outer side.

The tyres need to work harder to resist force as they’re subjected to this curved path, and those on the driven wheels even have to affect the business of transmitting power to the road. The faster a corner is taken, the harder the tyres need to work. It goes without saying that there comes a flash when a driver can ask too much of his tyres, causing them gradually to lose their grip; a skid will start and therefore the car may run off the road.

The right course through a bend

It is worth analysing the forces which act on a car when it’s steered round a corner. A car’s momentum takes it in a line (just sort of a golf ball struck true and straight down the fairway) until the driver turns the steering wheel. The front wheels move to an edge at an angle to the straight path they’re following and the car starts to turn into the bend. At now force begins to act, trying to push the car outwards within the same way that a piece of string with a weight at the top tautens once you swing it round within the air. This force is felt inside the car as it pushes you sideways in your seat, faraway from the inside of the bend. A car with soft suspension also reacts by rolling down on its springs on the outer side.

The tyres need to work harder to resist force as they’re subjected to this curved path, and those on the driven wheels even have to affect the business of transmitting power to the road. The faster a corner is taken, the harder the tyres need to work. It goes without saying that there comes a flash when a driver can ask too much of his tyres, causing them gradually to lose their grip; a skid will start and therefore the car may run off the road.

Cornering procedure in detail

The generalisations which may be made about procedure through bends are limited, but on right-hand bends this could be your basic programme:

  • As the bend approaches, check your mirror just in case someone is arising behind or maybe contemplating nipping by before — or, worse still, through — the corner.
  • Judge the speed at which you ought to take the bend and carry out any braking necessary to slow down thereto speed while the car remains occupation a line . Your speed should be such that you’ll always pull up within the distance you’ll see to be clear.
  • While you’re still travelling during a line , change right down to a lower gear if it seems necessary in order that acceleration is out there as you allow the bend.
  • Bear in mind the racing driver’s adage, ‘in slow, out fast’, although don’t place an excessive amount of emphasis on the `fast’.
  • Start steering into the curve, taking care to form a smooth movement rather than a vicious tug at the wheel which can jerk the car into the bend.
  • Press the accelerator slightly because the car responds to the steering. Any car will feel steadier under a touch power instead of a trailing throttle, but this must be done very gently and smoothly.
  • Look towards and past the apex to see that the exit is clear. Throughout the corner you ought to always be driving at a speed which allows you to brake to a standstill within the space you’ll see.
  • Push the throttle more firmly in order that you’ll accelerate smoothly out of the bend as you pass the apex. this could be done well within the capabilities of your car, as an excessive amount of power will overload the tyres and cause them to slip , especially if the road is wet. Remember that extra power may cause the car to run a touch wide, so compensate as you steer through.

The reverse applies through a left-hand bend: make your approach towards the middle of the road while staying on the right side of the central line, move over towards the nearside at the apex then gradually ease back to your correct position, a couple of feet from the verge, at the top of the bend.

Braking on a bend

You should always avoid braking on a bend, but there will be occasions when there is no option. A pedestrian may step out into your path or you may overestimate the safe speed. When it is necessary to brake, apply pressure as lightly as possible to the pedal to avoid asking too much from the tyres. If there is room, try to straighten the steering just before you brake, then turn again as you take your foot off the pedal.

You may be faced with a situation where heavy braking is necessary on a corner, although the advanced driver should seldom need to do so. He will have correctly judged the safe speed for the conditions, remembering that it is better to arrive at a corner too slowly than too quickly. He will have carefully assessed the road ahead as he approaches the corner and drives through it, making allowances for any pedestrains or vehicles likely to wander into his path. He will also have allowed for the bend tightening up or leading directly into another bend beyond his line of sight. All the possibilities will have dictated a conservative and safe speed into the corner, whether it is a completely open curve on a main road or a tight bend bordered by tall hedges on a country lane.

The unexpected can lie around any corner, and usually results from a driver being guilty of miscalculating the vehicle’s speed so that there is difficulty in stopping when faced with a broken-down car, a tractor or a loose animal. The unexpected, however, could be another driver approaching on the wrong side of the road or, worse still, having an accident. It is better to try to steer away from such an alarming hazard rather than to brake on the corner. As well as increasing the chances of your own car skidding, braking can often leave you well placed to be struck by the other vehicle. Steering away from it provides a better chance of missing it altogether or perhaps receiving just a glancing blow. Never brake hard and steer at the same time.

If a car in front of you travelling in the same direction starts to slide, it is best to try to brake first to wipe off some speed (remembering the dangers involved in braking heavily while cornering), then prepare to steer to avoid the car. Keep an eye on its movement all the time: depending on the car’s characteristics and the driver’s action, it might plough off or spin towards the outside of the corner, or alternatively spin off towards the apex. With good judgement, you might be able to steer whichever side of the car offers the best path through if for any reason you cannot pull up first.

Braking whilst cornering

Always try to gain the appropriate speed for the corner before entering it. Tyres need to deal with a lot of forces. In a straight line motion, a car is balanced and stable, as you enter a bend, the tyres need to deal with forward motion, plus centrifugal force. They’re making you go forward, but also trying to prevent you from skidding off the road due to steering round the corner. That’s a lot to deal with but if you now add braking into this, you really begin to upset the balance of the car. Almost all weight is now distributed to just the front tyres.

Unless you enter the corner at a ridiculously high speed, braking whilst cornering may not be too much of an issue whilst driving on a flat, stable and dry road. Try braking whilst cornering on wet or icy roads however and all of a sudden your car becomes an out-of-control metal missile. Always try to avoid braking, especially harshly on a bend. Along with being far safer, it’s also a lot kinder to your tyres, giving them a longer lifespan.

Exiting the bend

As the bend begins to recede and open up you can gently begin to accelerate once again. Take another look in your rear view mirrors on the corner exit as this is a common place where motorists may attempt to overtake.

Cornering on wet or icy roads

Your car is far more likely to lose traction with the road surface if it is wet, and even more so if icy. Always take weather conditions into account whilst driving. Harsh corners will likely need to be taken at a much reduced speed in bad weather and remember to avoid heavy braking whilst cornering.

Cornering in a car tips

The main objectives whilst taking a corner in a car are:

  • Enter a corner at a speed you intend on taking it
    This is to avoid harsh braking whilst cornering which can result in your car losing control. Harsh braking put heavy load and forces on the front tyres making the vehicle unstable.
  • Lane discipline
    Lane discipline is crucial whilst entering the corner and whilst traveling around it. Never cut a corner as you never know what might be coming the other way.
  • Stopping distances
    Always consider your stopping distance and ensure you are able to safely stop within the distance you can see ahead. A basic understanding of limit point analysis may help to understand.
  • Weather and road conditions
    Always consider your speed before entering a corner, not only due to the severity of the corner, but whether the road is wet, icy and the condition of the road surface itself. Loose chippings and potholes impact the stability of a car whilst cornering.

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