Steering

Power Steering

If you lose power steering assist because the engine stops or the system is not functioning, you can steer but it will take much more effort.

Steering Tips

It is important to take curves at a reasonable speed.

A lot of the “driver lost control” accidents mentioned on the news happen on curves.

Here is why:

Experienced driver or beginner, each of us is subject to the same laws of physics when driving on curves. The traction of the tires against the road surface makes it possible for the vehicle to change its path when you turn the front wheels. If there is no traction, inertia will keep the vehicle going in the same direction. If you have ever tried to steer a vehicle on wet ice, you will understand this.

The traction you can get in a curve depends on the condition of your tires and the road surface, the angle at which the curve is banked, and your speed. While you are in a curve, speed is the one factor you can control.

Suppose you are steering through a sharp curve.

Then you suddenly accelerate. Both control systems — steering and acceleration — have to do their work where the tires meet the road.

Adding the sudden acceleration can demand too much of those places. You can lose control.

What should you do if this ever happens? Ease up on the accelerator pedal, steer the vehicle the way you want it to go, and slow down.

Speed limit signs near curves warn that you should adjust your speed. Of course, the posted speeds are based on good weather and road conditions. Under less favorable conditions you will want to go slower.

If you need to reduce your speed as you approach a curve, do it before you enter the curve, while your front wheels are straight ahead.

Try to adjust your speed so you can “drive” through the curve. Maintain a reasonable, steady speed. Wait to accelerate until you are out of the curve, and then accelerate gently into the straightaway.

Adding non-GM accessories can affect your vehicle’s performance.

Steering in Emergencies

There are times when steering can be more effective than braking. For example, you come over a hill and find a truck stopped in your lane, or a car suddenly pulls out from nowhere, or a child darts out from between parked cars and stops right in front of you. You can avoid these problems by braking — if you can stop in time.

But sometimes you cannot; there is not room.

That is the time for evasive action — steering around the problem.

Your vehicle can perform very well in emergencies like these. First apply your brakes.

It is better to remove as much speed as you can from a possible collision.

Then steer around the problem, to the left or right depending on the space available.

An emergency like this requires close attention

An emergency like this requires close attention and a quick decision. If you are holding the steering wheel at the recommended 9 and 3 o’clock positions, you can turn it a full 180 degrees very quickly without removing either hand. But you have to act fast, steer quickly, and just as quickly straighten the wheel once you have avoided the object.

The fact that such emergency situations are always possible is a good reason to practice defensive driving at all times and wear safety belts properly.

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