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How to drive on country lanes - assessing the radius of the bend

Assess the radius of the bend by looking at: The curvature of the left-hand, and right-hand edges of the road, and the distance between the beginning of the curve, and the limit-point (photo above)

 

 

Look at the roadsign. This warns you of the bend ahead, and sometimes will have a "max speed" plate attached (this is a warning speed and NOT a speed limit). It will however give you a guideline speed for the bend.

Re-assess the limit-point, which for a tight bend will remain fairly static as you approach. The speed at which the limit-point moves away from you shows you how tight the bend is. Make sure that the limit-point is further away than your minimum stopping distance (photo above). Re-check across the bend for traffic.

 

 

Your speed should now be decreasing, braking hard if necessary. Aiming to do all your braking in a straight line - braking as you enter the bend will de-stabilise the car, and may cause your front wheels to skid sideways. Re-assess the limit-point - To emphasise - the speed at which the limit-point moves away from you shows you how tight the bend is. Make sure that it is further away than your minimum stopping distance (photo above).

 

 

At this stage you should have done all your braking. In the bend you should match your speed to the speed that the limit-point moves away from you. Your stopping distance, on your side of the road, should match, or be less than, the distance to the limit-point. For a constant radius bend your speed should be steady: This may mean being on the gas slightly to maintain it (photo above).

 

  

 

Teaching people to drive for over 30 years! Professional driving lessons with Alan J Barker BA DSA ADI.
Covering Hockley, Rayleigh, Rochford, & Hullbridge areas