If your car feels like it’s swaying, you may be experiencing a condition called “sway instability”. The condition is also referred to as “body roll” because your vehicle leans over in the direction opposite of the turn. Sway instability can occur at any time during normal driving conditions, but it’s most likely to happen when you’re turning corners or navigating hilly terrain.
While the feeling of your car swaying during a turn can be disconcerting, it occurs for a reason: the force of gravity. This outside force pulls on your vehicle, causing it to lean into the turn as you go around curves and corners. Your car is actually designed with this fact in mind: its frame has roll centers (the points where the suspension attaches to the body) that cause your vehicle to lean into turns so that you can maintain control and avoid spinning out. If there’s nothing wrong with your suspension system, then body roll is not only expected—it’s an essential safety feature!
However, if there are issues with your suspension system that are causing excessive sway instability, then things start to get more serious. If a problem exists with one side of your suspension system, then that side might give way while you’re turning and cause you to lose control of your vehicle and crash into something (like another car or a tree). Or possibly worse—you could end up rolling over completely!
Sway instability can affect how you steer your car and how hard you press on the brakes.
If you’ve ever felt like your car was swaying in the wind, you may have been experiencing a condition called “sway instability.”
Sway instability can affect how you steer your car and how hard you press on the brakes. It’s usually caused by tire pressure, suspension or alignment issues.
A swaying condition can be caused by tire pressure, suspension or alignment issues.
If you drive a vehicle that feels like it’s swaying, you have a problem that should be checked out right away. There are three main causes of car swaying:
- Tire pressure problems. A tire that’s low on air can reduce the amount of traction between the tire and the road, causing steering problems (and potentially increasing your risk of an accident). A slow leak in a tire also can cause this problem. Both situations require attention from a mechanic as soon as possible.
- Suspension issues. A worn or broken shock absorber or control arm can impact how well your vehicle handles curves and rough roads, which could make it feel like your car is swaying. If you suspect suspension problems with your vehicle, take it to a trusted mechanic for an inspection and repairs if necessary.
- Alignment issues. If your car pulls to one side when you’re driving straight down the road, this could be caused by misaligned wheels. Take your car to a mechanic for an alignment check and adjustment if necessary so you don’t have to keep dealing with swaying sensations while driving
In some cases sway instability can cause your car to slide out of control.
In some cases sway instability can cause your car to slide out of control. If this is happening, it means that you’re experiencing a progressive loss of stability in your vehicle. This will cause the car to keep going in whatever direction it was last turned, even if that means completely losing traction and sliding off the road. While this might seem like an uncommon occurrence, it’s actually fairly common for cars with little-to-no weight on their rear ends (like trucks) to experience this particular kind of instability when driving at high speeds during bad weather conditions.
If you want to know whether or not sway instability is causing your car to slide out of control, you can use this simple test: find an area where there are no other vehicles around (this could be an empty parking lot), and then drive forward until you’re going about 50 MPH. Once there, let go of the wheel and see what happens — if all goes well, then nothing will happen at all! However, if something does happen (like your car sliding sideways), then that may indicate that sway instability is indeed making its presence known within your vehicle.
Wear your seatbelt and drive safely.
Wear your seatbelt. Seriously. Seatbelts are the best way to keep you and your vehicle’s occupants safe in case of a crash or accident. An unrestrained occupant is three times more likely to be injured in a collision than someone wearing a seatbelt, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Drive safely. We may not all make it as racing drivers, but we can at least drive like them when it comes to speed: stick within the speed limit and drive at a pace that’s appropriate for road conditions. If it’s raining, drive slower so you have better control of your car—and avoid distracting activities like texting while driving too!
Don’t drink and drive. Don’t text and drive either—or do anything else that would take away from paying attention to the road ahead of you. This is one of those things that’s easier said than done, especially with busy schedules adding up minutes wherever they can be found (but hey, we know what you’re really doing on your phone). The CDC reports that approximately one out of every three traffic deaths in America involves a drunk driver with a blood alcohol concentration over the legal limit