Steering Wheel Hand Placement

Steering Wheel Hand PlacementHave you ever done an article on hand placement on the steering wheel? This is essential to avoid a collision or to regain control of your vehicle in an emergency situation of any kind.

Who would have thought that how to hold a steering wheel would change, or that it even mattered. This reader is right to point out that a refresher is due for drivers from the age before airbags. The 10 and 2 crowd are now out of date!

The best theory today is for the left hand to be between 7 and 9, and the right hand to be between 3 and 5. This keeps your hands and arms out of the way if the airbag deploys and you don't end up having a fist fight with yourself in the event of a collision. Please note that these instructions call for both hands to be on the wheel.

Hand over hand has died a quiet death except in low speed parking lot style maneuvers. The method to use now is called either push-pull or shuffle steering depending on who you talk to. The steering wheel is pushed with one hand and then pulled with the other, effectively shuffling the wheel between hands. Neither hand ever passes the 12 or 6 position and the wheel is not allowed to slide through both hands at once as it centers after a turn.

A check with an ICBC driver examiner reveals that should you palm the wheel, use only one hand to steer or grasp the steering wheel from inside the rim it will be marked as an error on a driving test.

This method may take some getting used to, but it promises two benefits: you will be less likely to overcorrect in an emergency and you will suffer less fatigue in your arms and back, arriving at your destination in a safer more comfortable manner.

References:

Learn to Drive Smart - Chapter 5 Page 70 (pdf)

Tuning Up Guide - Session 4 Page 32 (pdf)

The 60 Second Driver on Hand Position (video)

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