When it comes to driving, one of the most fundamental skills is knowing how to properly place your hands on the steering wheel. Imagine the steering wheel as a clock face, with 12 o’clock being the top and 6 o’clock being the bottom. But where exactly should you position your hands on this imaginary clock? In this article, we will explore the recommended hand positions for optimal control and safety while driving.
10 and 2 Hand Position
For many years, the widely taught and recommended hand position on the steering wheel was the “10 and 2” position. This meant placing your hands at the 10 o’clock and 2 o’clock positions on the wheel. This position provided a balanced grip and allowed for quick and precise steering inputs. However, with advancements in vehicle safety technology, this hand position has evolved.
9 and 3 Hand Position
In recent years, the recommended hand position has shifted to the “9 and 3” position. This means placing your hands at the 9 o’clock and 3 o’clock positions on the steering wheel. The shift in hand position is due to the widespread use of airbags in modern vehicles. Placing your hands at 9 and 3 allows for better protection in the event of an airbag deployment. It reduces the risk of your hands being forced into your face by the airbag.
Benefits of the 9 and 3 Hand Position
The 9 and 3 hand position offers several benefits over the traditional 10 and 2 position. Firstly, it provides a more comfortable and relaxed grip on the steering wheel, reducing fatigue during long drives. Secondly, it allows for smoother and more controlled steering inputs, as your hands are closer to the center of the wheel. This can improve your overall driving experience and make you feel more connected to the road.
Alternatives to the 9 and 3 Hand Position
While the 9 and 3 hand position is recommended, there are a few alternative hand positions that some drivers may find more comfortable or suitable for certain situations. One such position is the “8 and 4” hand position, where your hands are placed at the 8 o’clock and 4 o’clock positions on the wheel. This position is often favored by drivers with larger vehicles or those who need to make frequent turns.
Another alternative is the “7 and 5” hand position, where your hands are placed at the 7 o’clock and 5 o’clock positions on the wheel. This position is often used by drivers who prefer a lower hand position or have limited mobility in their arms or shoulders.
While the 10 and 2 hand position was once the standard, the recommended hand position on the steering wheel has shifted to the 9 and 3 position. This change is due to the increased prevalence of airbags in modern vehicles. Placing your hands at 9 and 3 offers better protection in the event of an airbag deployment and allows for more comfortable and controlled steering inputs. However, alternative hand positions such as 8 and 4 or 7 and 5 may be more suitable for certain drivers or situations. Ultimately, the most important thing is to find a hand position that feels comfortable and allows for safe and controlled driving.
– National Highway Traffic Safety Administration: www.nhtsa.gov
– AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety: www.aaafoundation.org
– Car and Driver: www.caranddriver.com