why are banked curves often beneficial?

Banked curves were invented to prevent skidding. With banked curves, the road's normal force provides a component of force directing a vehicle towards the center of the curve. Banked curves reduce a vehicle's dependence on friction to safely navigate a curve.

Uniform circular motion is used to describe objects moving in a circular motion. With centripetal acceleration, the magnitude of the velocity remains unvarying; however the direction of this velocity is constantly changing. Acceleration is always directed to the center, thus force is always directed to the center.

This motion may be visible with vehicles rounding curves. On a flat surface, cars must rely on friction to prevent skidding. If conditions such as snow, ice, or rain reduce the coefficient of friction, then the turning force would be smaller. Without banked curves to help turn the vehicle, the vehicle's inertia could carry it off the road.

Learn more about the science behind banked curves at Spiff.rit.edu and Physics247.com.

Tag: friction