steering feedback

A feel for the road transmitted through the steering wheel

You may not realize it, but almost all of your senses contribute to your driving. You don’t just see where you’re going and how fast you are relative to other vehicles and objects. You hear those vehicles, wind noise and the rev of your engine. You feel your own acceleration and braking. Your sense of balance helps you to know how sharply you are turning and whether the road is banked.

Likewise, your car communicates to you in the feel of the pedals and steering wheel. The firmness of the brake pedal helps to tell you how hard you’re braking, and the firmness of the steering wheel tells you how sharply you’re turning. Typically, the wheel’s resistance increases along with the steering angle. Over-assisted steering, however, can remove this source of important feedback — especially at highway speeds where a slight turn of the wheel results in a dramatic change in direction.

Additionally, the steering wheel may transmit a feel for the road by twitching noticeably when a wheel encounters road imperfections. This is considered advantageous by many driving enthusiasts, but it seems to be the exception rather than the rule, especially with front-wheel drive.
— J.W.
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