Driving Style Differences between the Automotive Classes
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Originally Posted On: https://www.theintelligentdriver.com/2020/03/02/driving-style-differences-between-the-automotive-classes/
Different classes of vehicles for sale on car lots can have very different driving mechanics.
What is a class of vehicle? You may be familiar with the letters that correspond to the types of vehicles sold at a Pay Here Buy Here car lot. These letters appear on a driver’s license. For example, in New York State, the letter ‘M’ refers to a motorcycle license and ‘C’ refers to buses and trucks.
Most people will have a ‘D’ license, which includes regular passenger cars (the majority of the cars we see every day on the road), and some other vehicles, such as tow trucks and mopeds.
What are the differences in operation that one may experience from switching vehicle classes? When it comes to mopeds and motorcycles, the main difference between the two is power and size. This is indicated by the fact that one needs a specific license for motorcycles but a typical ‘D’ license will do for mopeds.
Naturally, since motorcycles are larger and faster than mopeds, they can also be more dangerous, so safety is especially important when operating a motorcycle.
Two Wheels vs. Four Wheels
How about the difference between riding a motorcycle and driving a typical passenger car? In general, operating a motorcycle is quite different from driving a regular car, and requires safety gear, such as a helmet. You have much less protection than were you in a car, so accidents can be deadly. How you shift your weight on the motorcycle will dictate how the vehicle responds to you.
You have to be extra aware of the drivers on the road as they are often not particularly aware of you. You must be more aware of the road conditions as your vehicle is less likely to handle a poor road well. On the plus side, a good rider can anticipate and avoid an accident because of their bike’s agility.
It’s advisable to get extended training on a motorcycle before attempting to switch from a standard vehicle, instead of jumping onto a motorcycle and taking a long road trip without getting used to the differences.
Passenger Cars vs. SUVs
As SUVs and trucks became ubiquitous, the driving dynamics difference between regular cars and SUVs blurred. SUVs carry more people, more cargo, they’re fuel-efficient and safe, so it’s no wonder that people have flocked to them.
An SUV will often give you a higher, clearer view of surroundings than a regular car will. Their larger size makes them a bit harder to park in tight spots, so they take a bit of getting used to when you’re coming from a passenger car.
SUVs are not as agile as passenger cars, and as a result, they are three times more likely to roll over, with 36% of rollover accidents resulting in fatalities. You must remember to drive at a safe speed, particularly on curved roads. Sudden, extreme turns must be avoided. Extra distance must be left for braking, especially if it has been raining. And when towing or carrying cargo, ensure it is well secured.
When operating say, a loaded 18-wheeler, it is obvious to keep in mind that this vehicle is much larger and longer than most. They are big, slow, and take up lots of space. Unfortunately, this means that when accidents occur with 18 wheeler vehicles, there can be a lot of damage.
This is something that other drivers will have to be aware of, but you cannot always count on this. Many drivers will not take heed of your need for space and will occupy your blind spot, or try to cut you off while you’re turning. On the plus side, it’s a good feeling knowing that if anything does hit you that you’re in a safe spot.
Patience is always important while on the road, but especially when operating a larger vehicle. Larger trucks also typically take much longer to accelerate. You have to consider each curve and corner, knowing your vehicle needs more time to prepare.
A vehicle like this will be driven in a commercial context, so one has to keep track of everything they are doing. One typically doesn’t drive a vehicle this large for pleasure, and much of the trip will be on long stretches of road. So it is important to plan the route in advance and rest as necessary.
It is important to remember that there is a high level of variance when it comes to automobiles, and they become more numerous by the day. There are countless nuances involved in operating a motor vehicle, and they vary based on the individual, their particular vehicle, traffic conditions, mechanics, technical advances, and more. However, it is always important to keep safety in mind, be patient, and learn as much as you can about operating your particular vehicle.
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