Definition of Understeer

Understeer, also known as “push” or “pushing”, is best described as the situation that occurs when the vehicle fails to sufficiently respond to the driver’s steering input.

It occurs when the front tyres do not have sufficient grip to carry out the cornering manoeuvre asked of them. Main causes of understeer include excessive cornering speed, wet or icy road conditions, incorrect tyre pressures and poor tyre condition (tread depth etc).

Understeer is, as the term suggests, the opposite of oversteer and it is generally accepted as preferable to oversteer for the average motorist. Most motorists will experience understeer at some point whilst driving and in contrast to oversteer it is fairly predictable and relatively easy to overcome.