Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Corners & Cornering - Safe?

I posted the text below in a forum thread about cornering.

Many of you will be familiar with using the 'limit point' (or 'limit of visibility', or 'vanishing point', chose your preferred term) to help with bend assessment and chossing a safe cornering speed.

However, it's easy on left hand bends to be over-confident and over-estimate your braking distance when cornering.

Take care with 'how' you judge your forward distance on lefts.

Temptation for a lot of people is to look at the far kerb - ie the oncoming lane - you have to use the centre line as the limit of available tarmac.

But even then, if the view of the left side of the road is obscured, your true 'limit' is the left verge, as anything emerging from beyond where you can see will immediately - and profoundly - shorten your stopping distance (especially if it moves across the lane in front of you).

Clear road surface is the key factor when deciding how fast to commit.

Another principle in play here is that you must have your 'escape' plans ready before you enter the turn - if you're driving on the limits of view then you can't afford to spend extra time (and so distance) pondering options.


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