How do oversteer and understeer differ?

If you've ever listened to car enthusiasts discuss handling performance, the terms "oversteer" and "understeer" will pop up at some point. While these concepts may seem complicated at first glance, they're actually pretty easy to grasp. Understanding the difference between the two will make you a better, safer driver.

Let's start with oversteer. In a nutshell, oversteer is a condition where a vehicle's front end turns too far towards the inside of a corner when rounding a bend. Rear-wheel-drive vehicles are particularly susceptible to oversteer. Nowadays, oversteering isn't typically a problem for front-wheel-drive cars under ordinary conditions.

Understeer is the exact opposite of oversteer. It occurs when a vehicle's front tires lose traction and the automobile slides towards the outside of a corner. Many front-wheel-drive vehicles suffer from understeer to some degree. Recovering from understeer is typically achieved by letting off the gas and steering in the direction you want to go.



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