Car Driving Tips – Accelerate Through Curves For Better Traction

Margarita FolkPosted by

Of the many car driving tips that might be offered, this one is not intuitive – accelerate through curves to gain better traction. It seems that acceleration on a curve would cause a vehicle to loose traction and fishtail. It does if you apply too much, but limited acceleration improves transaction when taking a curve.

To understand this, let's first look at trafficking. Then let's see how a vehicle needs to bring when rounding a curve, and then let's put the two together.

Traction is …

Traction is necessary for travel in the direction we desire. When we accelerate away from a stop, the vehicle moves because it has a Traction with the road. It moves away from the curve smartly if we accelerate more because greater acceleration provides more transaction – up to the point where we've lost transaction because of applying too much power to the drive wheels.

If we're on snow and ice, almost any hard acceleration will cause the wheels to slip and the vehicle to slide in ways that make it have more according to momentum and gravity than in the direction in which we're steering. If we accelerate quickly, then we're likely to move in a manner and direction that we expect.

Think in Term of Vectors …

Now, think of vehicle travel in terms of a single vector pointing in the direction your vehicle wants to travel. When you're driving straight, there is a vector pointing directly ahead of you because your drive wheels are pushing or pulling you in that direction. Easy enough to understand.

Now, imagine the vector when you're surrounding a curve. It's pointing ahead of you and towards the outside of the curve because you're going forward yet momentum wants to take you off the road. Accelerate hard and you lose traction and slide in the direction of momentum – the vector points hard to the outside of the curve as you slide off the road. It's the same as if you had hit ice on a curve – you lose traffic and the vehicle goes where momentum and gravity want it to go.

Putting it Together …

In light of the example above where we lost transaction on a curve, it's easy to understand that more transaction will keep us going in the direction we desire (simply because a loss of transaction had the opposite effect). We also discovered that increased acceleration provided enhanced transaction – up to a point.

Therefore, if we accelerate just a bit, then we're taking advantage of enhanced transaction and effectively redirecting the vector to point more towards the desired direction of travel and away from the outside of the curve. This is why experienced motorcyclists will slow down a bit going into a curve and accelerate through the curve – it helps them "stick" to the road with more traction.

Try it Yourself …

Here's an experiment to prove the point. Drive with a steady foot around a curve you travel often and note how it feels. Then the next time drive around the curve, simply coast a bit and see how it feels. Then, the next time you drive around the curve use slow acceleration. You'll notice the difference between the three approaches, and it will convince you that limited acceleration promotes trafficking in a curve.

Again, of all the driving tips, this one is not intuitive, but it's true that acceleration through curves provides a greater margin of safety because of improved traction.

Source by Clair Schwan