I'm currently taking a Physics class and we are studying motion in a circular path. and i'm kind of fuzzy on what the total acceleration actually is. take this problem for example
An automobile whose speed is increasing at a rate of 0.700 m/s^2 travels along a circular road with a radius of 20 m. When the instantaneous speed of the automobile is 5.0 m/s, find:
a) the tangential acceleration component
b) centripetal acceleration component.
c) the magnitude and direction of the total acceleration (in respect to the direction of the car.
In this problem, I know the tangential acceleration is what's causing the increase in velocity of the car, the centripetal acceleration is what's causing the car to turn seeking the center. But i have no idea what the total acceleration actually does. what type of effect will it's magnitude have on the car?