Fast Road Driving Techniques Part 1 - Cornering
This is the first in the series of articles on fast road driving techniques. The goal of these articles is to turn you into a driver that cover ground quickly and safely without taking risks.
Fast road driving techniques - Part 1 - Cornering

The biggest improvement anyone can make in fast road driving is to corner faster.

Anyone can drive balls to the wall, take risks and be a hero but sooner or later taking risks while you are driving is going to end at best with an insurance claim at worst you could hurt someone else. Neither of which we want.

The key to maximising corner speed is judging the corner in advance. This is hard to explain in words but this is how you judge a corner in advance.

Looking straight ahead on a straight piece of road the left and the right sides of the road do not cross each other. However in a right hand corner the right side of the road and the left side of the road are going to come together in your vision. In an open corner the distance between the right side and the left side is going to be large, in a hairpin the distance is going to be short.

To give an example

In a 180 degree right hand hairpin corner the distance between right side of the road and the left side of the road where they cross is going to be the width of the road.

I hope this is making sense so far.

So you can judge how tight a corner is by the distance between the two sides of the road where they cross in your vision. This tells you how tight the corner is.

The skill in this exercise is translating the tightness of the corner into the speed you can take that corner. This takes experience. The speed can vary depending on the weather and the car and the amount of other road users you expect to encounter.

Some instructors say you can use hedge rows or perhaps rows of telegraph poles to judge a corner. Personally I would never recommend doing this. Always use the edge of the road where the road meets the grass verge or where the road meets the kerb. This is the only fail safe way to be sure what you are saying is going to be correct.

There is a maximum speed you can take a corner but seeing as you are driving on the road you want to build in a safety margin in case the corner tightens out of your vision or in case there is something in the road. You want to maximise your speed but still be able to have options if the unexpected occurs.

Perfect this technique and you will be cornering faster and safer than 99% of the drivers on the road.

And don't forget, never stop practising. When you have this fast road driving technique down, you will not have to consciously think what the distance is between the two sides of the road, the only thing that you will think about consciously is the speed you can go. Ultimately you need this cornering technique to be second nature, only then will you be driving at maximum speed and maximum safety.