Understeer and Oversteer. What luxury and sporting vehicles try to avoid, these two terms are not features
of high end vehicles but should be avoided as much as possible. Understeer and Oversteer will belong to the
safety section because they are studied by engineers and with this knowledge vehicles are built to avoid them
as much as possible.
These are two common terms that you should know about and they are easy to understand as they
are somewhat self explanatory. As the names imply they are conditions that can occur while you're
steering the vehicle.
Understeer occurs when the vehicle doesn't turn as much as you want it to or it turns less
than the front wheels are indicating. An example would be turning the steering wheel for the vehicle
to turn 90 degrees at a junction but the vehicle only turns 40 degrees and runs off the road.
Oversteering on the other hand is where your vehicle wants to turn too far usually resulting
in the vehicle spinning out of control. An example would be turning the steering wheel while driving
with the intention to turn 60 degrees and the vehicle exceeds the 60 degrees or turns too much.
A vehicle understeering
Its easier to regain control of your vehicle in an understeer as applying the
brakes transfers weight to the front of the vehicle giving the front tires more
traction which may assist in steering the vehicle along the path you desire and applying the brakes
is a natural reaction for most people during a loss of control. This doesn't work in the majority of scenarios
but it is an advantage understeering have on oversteering.
A vehicle oversteering
If the same action is applied when the vehicle is oversteering it won't do much good because the weight
transfer will reduce traction from the rear wheels making it easier for the car to spin out of control.
Automotive manufacturers have used a number of techniques including
traction control, stability control and
torque vectoring to greatly reduce over and understeering.