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Driver Behavior in a Throttle-Off Situation
Published May 31, 1998 by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in United States
One hundred sixty-six drivers were asked to drive along a track at a specified speed. The speed was increased at each lap. At 80 km/h one of the bends was sharpened without warning the driver. Three cars were used. They were identical except the handling: one was standard, one oversteering and the last understeering. None of the drivers knew there was several cars and each drove and saw only one car. Even if the drivers didn''t know anything about the handling of the car, some differences already appeared in their driving behavior relying on the car dynamic characteristics, even at low speed (50 km/h).
Half of the drivers ran out of the road with the understeering car even if this was the car which gave them the highest confidence (but not necessarily the best comfort as they generally felt the "steering wheel was heavy"). The two other cars gave close results and helped more than the two-thirds of the drivers to keep on the road.