Defining your driving experience
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This week’s term(s): Oversteer / understeer
Oversteer: When cornering, oversteer occurs when the rear tires do not track behind the front tires, but instead slide towards the outside of the turn. The result of oversteer is that the nose of the vehicle is pointed towards the inside of a turn; this decreases the radius of the turn and can, in fact, be beneficial. Many advanced drivers will purposefully induce oversteer in order to decrease the turn radius. In extreme cases, massive oversteer is known as "fishtailing."
Understeer: Describes a condition where the circular path of a cornering vehicle is greater than the angle indicated by the steering wheel; or, more simply, the car does not turn as far into a corner as you've directed it. In this situation, the front tires have a greater slip angle than the rear tires -- meaning the rear tires have better traction than the front -- which can also be described as the car handling "tight." For safety reasons, many mass-market cars have a bias towards understeer.
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