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Public Service Announcement: Accelerate through Curves!
Old 08-01-2013, 04:43 PM   #1
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Public Service Announcement: Accelerate through Curves!

I drove more than a hundred miles this past week in the Rockies. I witnessed many drivers who were clueless about the physics of car driving, hence this Public Service Announcement:

When starting a curve in the road, please accelerate slightly through the curve. Whatever you do, DO NOT BRAKE IN THE CURVE. You MUST slow before you get into the curve, so that you can apply a little pressure to the gas pedal to accelerate through the curve. There are several ways to slow, one of which is to coast before you reach the curve or to brake slightly in a controlled manner before you start turning.

One of the worst things you can do is to enter the curve at too high a speed which causes you to brake in the curve itself.

Anyways, you can go 10 to 20 mph faster if you do this.

If you didn't learn this when you were taught how to drive, please stay off the mountain roads or use the slow vehicle pullouts often.

Remember: Accelerate slightly around the curve. Do not brake in the curve.

See also:

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Old 08-01-2013, 04:51 PM   #2
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Old 08-01-2013, 05:08 PM   #3
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When I used to race semi-professionally we used to say: when in doubt give it more gas at least it'll be spectacular LOL
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Old 08-01-2013, 05:34 PM   #4
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And be sure to ride your brakes all the way down a 13% down grade for the entire 15 miles. NOT.
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Old 08-01-2013, 07:11 PM   #5
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Agree with everything the OP said, however, if you have misjudged (hind sight is 20/20), and you enter the curve too fast, what else can you do but brake?

This happened to me once. Crossed a bridge over the Mississippi and I had gained more speed than I realized coming down, and then the road took a turn that was sharper than I had judged. I braked going into the turn, and I can tell you, it sure did not feel good. It was kind of scary. I always wondered, just what would it take for the vehicle (a mini-van) to break free, roll, or whatever? Would it be 25 mph faster? 20? 15? 10? 5? I hope I never find out, unless on a closed track under controlled conditions (like those TV ads).

I'm guessing you saw the same people do it repeatedly. Yep, they ought to learn the first time.

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Old 08-01-2013, 09:58 PM   #6
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Enough gas to keep a steady speed through the corner will give you the maximum cornering force through a circular curve with a neutral handling car. Lifting off the gas a small amount may be better with cars that tend to plow through corners (understeer or push). Accelerating slightly through the curve can help if your car prefers to spin in a corner (oversteer or loose). Most modern cars are designed with a little understeer, so a constant speed to slight deceleration is usually appropriate. Not a full lift off the gas. My car understeers. If I accelerated through a fast corner I'd be in the wrong lane by the time I exited.

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