Street Survival - Advanced Defensive Driving



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The trajectory is the path that an object, or point on that object, takes on its travel.

For our purposes, we are going to look at two trajectories that can affect us on the road, as explained in more detail in the accompanying video:

🛈 Info:

Thinking Technical Trajectory


  • When a vehicle of considerable length (happens with any length vehicle, but more pronounced the longer the vehicle is) turns a corner, the body of the vehicle encroaches more and more into the inner space of the arc, so that the rear wheels land up cutting the corner with a much smaller radius.

  • We (either driver or another road user) need to be aware of this so that we can give a wide enough berth to accommodate for the ever decreasing turning circle.


  • When a vehicle has a longish overhang (distance from the rear wheels to the back of the vehicle, or load that it is carrying), then when that vehicle turns a corner, the very rear point will swing outwards in a wider arc than the rear tires.

  • The wider arc of the backmost point of the vehicle could easily catch or scrape any object in its path or even worse, injure a road user or pedestrian.

🛈 Factors affecting the trajectory of a vehicle

The trajectory of a vehicle refers to the path it follows through space. Several factors can affect the trajectory of a vehicle, including:

  • Velocity of the vehicle: The higher the velocity of the vehicle, the more difficult it is to maintain control of the vehicle, and the more prone it is to deviating from its intended trajectory.

  • Vehicle weight: The weight of the vehicle can also affect its trajectory. Heavier vehicles are more difficult to control and can deviate from their intended trajectory more easily than lighter vehicles.

  • Road conditions: The condition of the road, including the type of surface, level of traction, and the presence of obstacles or other vehicles, can affect the trajectory of a vehicle. Slippery roads, for example, can cause a vehicle to deviate from its intended path.

  • Steering and suspension: The condition of the steering and suspension system can also affect the trajectory of a vehicle. If these systems are not working properly, the vehicle may not be able to maintain its intended path.

  • Driver behavior: The behavior of the driver can also affect the trajectory of the vehicle. Distracted or impaired driving, aggressive driving, or other reckless behaviors can cause a driver to lose control of the vehicle and deviate from its intended trajectory.

Overall, the trajectory of a vehicle is influenced by several factors, and it is important for drivers to be aware of these factors and adjust their driving accordingly.

Drivers can maintain control of their vehicle and maintain the intended trajectory by driving at safe speeds, paying attention to the road and traffic conditions, maintaining their vehicle in good condition, and using defensive driving techniques to avoid accidents and collisions.

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Street Survival - Advanced Defensive Driving