Cornering Expectations

Road - Driving

Stop that!

What is the correct speed to go around a corner?
Limit Points I hear you say.

Back to basics:

Limit Points are used to help riders and drivers understand the shape and angle of a bend and the direction of the road in relation to the speed the bike or car is moving.
If the limit point is moving away from you then the bend or corner is either straightening out or the speed the vehicle is approaching the bend is slower than it could be to negotiate the bend. If the limit point is coming closer than speed needs to be scrubbed off.

What’s around the next corner?

The limit Point may tell you about the physical make-up of the bend but it doesn’t tell you there is a car stopped part way round the corner out of sight.
You should always be at a speed that you can ‘stop safely with the distance you can see to be clear and on your side of the road’.
Although the limit point tells you your speed is good for the corner itself, you do need to take in visual clues (if any) about what might be around the next corner.

What could you reasonably expect?

Are there bins out ready for collection or mud on the road… both may indicate large vehicles around the next corner. There are many other visual clues or links to help you decide what might be around the next corner.

But sometimes it can be out of the blue…
An example of the correct speed for a corner despite a visual point telling me I could go faster, happened this morning while out on a ride.

The Story So Far

As I approached one of many rural corners we have here in Devon, I was confronted by a very large tractor with some form of pointed agricultural spikes on the front on the opposite side of the road. That was not the problem, it was the stopped car on my side of the road who felt the gap between the hedge and tractor was not enough for him/her to get through safely.
My ABS wasn’t required as the road was dry but braking was much harder than I would normally aim for. I was not quite doing the speed that the corner’s Vanishing Point or speed limit told me I could do.
I had no warning or visual clues i.e. brake lights, or in fact seen the vehicles ahead of me prior to the corner. My ‘position’ was also limited (I could not position for a better view) by the type of road I was on and experience of the road with other road users warned me.

So the moral of the story:

Just because you can, ask yourself if you should?

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