How to identify understeer

And what you can do to control it
by Jason Tulio | Oct 24, 2017

There's an old adage in car folklore that oversteer scares passengers while understeer scares drivers. For a lot of people, that is the case. Feeling a car's tail fling out and away from the front can be intimidating when you're not in control, while turning too wide on a sharp corner is terrifying for an inexperienced driver. But practice, as another classic saying goes, makes perfect. 

Enter the skidpad. This exercise can be performed with a set of traffic cones and a large, controlled environment. It's a great way to learn what's known as throttle steering, which is controlling your car's turning with the accelerator pedal. It also helps you to recognize understeer and how to control it.

We recently got a chance to do just that in a Mazda 2 at Batangas Racing Circuit. There, we learned some valuable lessons on precision driving from Mazda PR man and former race car driver Mikko David. If you want to try this on your own, just be sure to do it in a safe environment--and ideally before breakfast. To see a short explainer on how the skidpad works, click play on our video. 

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