Driving Test Success PRACTICAL HOME --- MAIN PAGE Driving Through A Bend - How to Corner When approaching a bend the first assessment you need to make is how sharp the bend is. If you get this wrong you may find yourself skidding and losing control of your car.
From your assessment of how sharp the bend is comes the next question - is my current speed appropriate?

Remember the golden rule: you must be able to stop, on your side of the road, in the distance you can see to be clear.

To help you assess these points correctly you need to pay attention to your surroundings. As you near the bend look out for road signs and markings which signal the direction of the bend.
If there are no such signs or markings then observe how the line of trees, hedgerow, buildings or street lights that line the road flow. This can give you a fair assessment of how sharp the bend is. Sometimes you may see skid marks on the road. These can indicate that a recent driver misjudged the bend and had to slam the brakes on in order to keep control.

As you drive towards a bend apply the MSM/PSL routine.

Slow down in good time and select a lower gear if needed, as this will give you more control. It can be dangerous to change gear whilst cornering as it means removing your hand from the steering wheel.

As you enter the bend turn the steering wheel smoothly and progressively

You should not be braking as you steer round the bend.

For the best grip, the engine should be 'under acceleration'. This doesn't mean you should increase your speed in the bend, but means the engine should be pulling the car.


When taking a right-hand bend, position your car towards the left of the lane, as this will:

increase your zone of vision into the bend

keep you out of the path of approaching traffic

give you more time to deal with any other hazard in the bend.
Positioning your car towards the left gives you a better view in a right-hand bend Right Bend Left Position

Right Bend Right-side Position

When taking a left-hand bend:

keep your car to the centre of the lane. This will keep you out of the path of approaching traffic, for example a large vehicle may be coming the other way and may be edging into your lane

do not get too close to the left, as this is likely to restrict your view of the road ahead and give you little time to deal with hazards in the bend.

As you enter the bend turn the steering wheel smoothly and progressively

As you leave a bend, check your mirrors and gently accelerate to a speed that is appropriate for the road and traffic conditions.
Positioning your car too close to the left will restrict your view.


Taking a bend becomes even trickier when the road surface is wet. In the wet your tyres will have less grip with the road. Take a bend too quickly, whether in the wet or not, and you are likely to lose grip and skid out of control.

Limit Point Analysis
Another way to take a bend is by using the limit point analysis method. The limit point is the point at which the right and left hand sides of the bend meet. This point will be the most distant point of the bend you can see. (see the photo below).

Bend Limit Point



To use this technique as you approach the bend be sure that, if needed, you could stop before you reached the limit point.

Then ask yourself is the limit point getting further away? If it is and you can see further ahead then your speed is fine.

If it is getting closer you should continue to reduce your speed until the limit point begins to move with you and your view opens up again.

Taking a bend becomes even trickier when the road surface is wet. In the wet your tyres will have less grip with the road. Take a bend too quickly, whether in the wet or not, and you are likely to lose grip and skid out of control.

Key Road Signs
Bend To Right
Right-handed bend (left if symbol reversed)

Double Bend
Double bend (first to left)

Junction on a bend
Junction on a bend ahead

Sharp deviation in the direction
Sharp deviation in the direction indicated


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