Many people were taught in driving school to hold the steering wheel at 10:00 and 2:00, imagining the wheel as a traditional clock.
However, that method may now be outdated.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), we now know there are more effective ways to hold the wheel. Some of the methods recommended by the NHTSA include:
- Hand-to-hand steering
- Hand-over-hand steering
- One-hand steering
Read on to learn more.
This is the preferred steering method over 10:00 and 2:00 because the latter can be unsafe in vehicles with steering wheels that are smaller in size and are airbag-equipped.
Hand-to-hand steering involves your left-hand holding the wheel between 7:00 and 8:00 and your right-hand grasping the wheel between 4:00 and 5:00.
You should use this steering method when:
- Turning at slow speeds with low visibility at an intersection,
- Parking the vehicle, and
- Recovering from a skid.
Your left hand should hold the wheel between 8:00 and 9:00, and your right hand should be between 3:00 and 4:00.
When you are in reverse or using your vehicle’s controls that you must remove your hands from the wheel to activate, you may use one-hand steering.
When using one-hand steering, keep your hand at the 8:00-9:00 or the 3:00-4:00 position, depending on your vehicle’s steering wheel design. Doing so achieves the following:
- Maintains vehicle stability
- Decreases steering reversals
- Allows for additional steering efforts as needed
Having your hand at the 12:00 position is only suggested when reversing the vehicle to the left or right and you must turn in your seat to see where you are going.
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