Where to place hands on steering wheel?

Where to place hands on steering wheel?


When it comes to driving, one of the fundamental skills every driver must master is hand placement on the steering wheel. Proper hand placement not only ensures optimal control and maneuverability but also enhances safety on the road. In this article, we will explore the best positions for placing your hands on the steering wheel to maintain control and respond effectively to any driving situation.

10 and 2 No More

For many years, the traditional hand placement on the steering wheel was known as “10 and 2,” where the hands were positioned at the 10 o’clock and 2 o’clock positions respectively. However, this technique has evolved due to advancements in vehicle safety features, such as airbags. The 10 and 2 hand placement is no longer recommended by experts as it can lead to hand and arm injuries when the airbag deploys.

9 and 3 Hand Placement

The recommended hand placement on the steering wheel today is known as “9 and 3.” This technique involves placing your hands at the 9 o’clock and 3 o’clock positions on the steering wheel. This position offers several advantages:

Control and Maneuverability: Placing your hands at 9 and 3 allows for better control and maneuverability of the vehicle. It provides a balanced grip on the wheel, enabling smoother steering inputs and quick response to sudden changes in direction.

Reduced Risk of Injury: The 9 and 3 hand placement reduces the risk of hand and arm injuries in the event of an airbag deployment. By keeping your hands lower on the wheel, you minimize the chance of the airbag forcefully impacting your hands and arms.

Improved Steering Wheel Feedback: Placing your hands at 9 and 3 enhances your ability to feel the feedback from the road through the steering wheel. This feedback is crucial for maintaining control and making precise steering adjustments.

Alternative Hand Placements

While the 9 and 3 hand placement is the recommended technique, there are a few alternative hand positions that some drivers find comfortable:

8 and 4 Hand Placement: This hand placement involves positioning your hands at the 8 o’clock and 4 o’clock positions on the steering wheel. It offers a similar balance and control as the 9 and 3 technique while providing a slightly different grip angle.

Hand-over-Hand Technique: In certain driving situations, such as making sharp turns or parking, the hand-over-hand technique may be necessary. This technique involves crossing your hands over each other while maintaining a firm grip on the wheel. However, it is important to note that this technique should only be used when necessary, as it can reduce your ability to maintain control during emergency maneuvers.


Proper hand placement on the steering wheel is crucial for maintaining control, maneuverability, and safety while driving. The recommended hand placement is the 9 and 3 technique, which offers optimal control, reduced risk of injury, and improved steering wheel feedback. However, alternative hand placements, such as 8 and 4, may also be comfortable for some drivers. Remember to adapt your hand placement based on the driving situation and always prioritize safety on the road.


– National Highway Traffic Safety Administration: www.nhtsa.gov
– AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety: www.aaafoundation.org
– The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents: www.rospa.com