# Physics turns and centripetal force on flat roads

• x86
In summary, the frictional force is pointing towards the center of the circle in circular motion (on a flat road) due to the tires.

#### x86

I am confused about this. I learned that the frictional force is pointing towards the center of the circle in circular motion (on a flat road) due to the tires.

The thing is, I don't understand what the result of this friction is.

The road is flat, and the motion of the car is straight. Therefore, the only friction that I can think of would be one opposite to the cars motion. What is causing the friction which has a direction pointing to the center of the circular path the car is traveling in?

Can someone break it down for me? I just can't seem to think about what could be causing this frictional force which is pushing the car to the center of the circle.

If you don't have a force pointing toward the center of the circle what is keeping the car from flying off the side of the road? Its the same as a string on a rubber stopper spinning, if not for the string the stopper would not go in a circle.

If there is a tendency for the car to slip outwards, then there will be a frictional force towards the centre of the circle.

1 person
Also think about taking a hard turn in your car, which way does all the stuff in your floor board/back seat roll?

1 person
Under normal conditions, a car goes in a circle only when its front wheels are turned toward the center of the circle. Because they are turned, they are somewhat sideways to the direction of its instantaneous velocity. Friction opposes their sideways motion, and causes the car to go round.

1 person
Jesse H. said:
Also think about taking a hard turn in your car, which way does all the stuff in your floor board/back seat roll?

It would hit the sides because it still wants to continue its straight motion, there is no force causing the objects to accelerate to the center of the circle.

I understand that there is a force, but I am just confused as to what the force is a result of.

I am unsure of exactly what is causing this frictional force. I know it has something to do with the road and the tires, but I just can't exactly pin point it.

voko said:
Under normal conditions, a car goes in a circle only when its front wheels are turned toward the center of the circle. Because they are turned, they are somewhat sideways to the direction of its instantaneous velocity. Friction opposes their sideways motion, and causes the car to go round.

Thank you. That is exactly what I was looking for.

Also, thank you for everyone else too. I appreciate your time

## 1. How does a car turn on a flat road?

When a car turns on a flat road, it is due to the centripetal force acting on the vehicle. This force is directed towards the center of the circular path that the car is moving along, and it allows the car to continuously change its direction while maintaining a constant speed.

## 2. What is the role of centripetal force in turning?

Centripetal force is responsible for keeping an object moving in a curved path. In the case of a car turning on a flat road, the centripetal force is provided by the friction between the tires and the road. This force allows the car to change its direction while staying on the road.

## 3. How does the speed of a car affect its turning on a flat road?

The speed of a car has a direct impact on the amount of centripetal force needed to make a turn. As the car moves faster, the centripetal force required to maintain its circular motion also increases. This is why cars are able to make sharper turns at lower speeds compared to higher speeds.

## 4. What happens if there is not enough centripetal force while turning on a flat road?

If there is not enough centripetal force acting on a car while turning, the car will not be able to maintain its circular motion and will either skid or veer off the road. This is why it is important for drivers to slow down when making turns, as it reduces the amount of centripetal force needed and allows for better control of the vehicle.

## 5. How does the mass of a car affect its turning on a flat road?

The mass of a car does not have a direct effect on its turning on a flat road. The amount of centripetal force required to make a turn is dependent on the car's speed and the radius of the turn, not its mass. However, a heavier car may require a larger amount of centripetal force to overcome its inertia and change its direction, which can affect the car's handling on a flat road.