The Way You Hold Your Steering Wheel Could Seriously Injure You In A Crash

The Way You Hold Your Steering Wheel Could Seriously Injure You In A Crash
Don’t do this. (Photo: <a href="">Art Markiv</a>)

Last year I learned to drive again after a 10-year break. I was surprised how dramatically cars had evolved in that period; I learned to be way lighter on the gas and brake, and whenever I used a rear-view camera to park, I felt like I was cheating.

I didn’t learn this: it’s no longer ideal to hold your steering wheel at ’10 and 2.’ According to experts, in a crash you could seriously injure your hands by driving in this position.

You can blame airbags for this, says NBC News, in a 2012 report that recently resurfaced on MetaFilter. They’re designed to protect your head and chest in a crash. But if your arms are too high up on the steering wheel, the deploying airbag can smash them into your face, causing injury. The chemical reaction that inflates the airbag can also injure your hands, sometimes requiring amputation.

Instead, put your hands at opposite sides of the wheel: “9 and 3.” An AAA representative told NBC News that this position is also more ergonomic in general, giving the driver better control of the car.

Lastly, when you turn the wheel, don’t do the old hand-over-hand manoeuvre, crossing your arms over in front of the wheel. Just pull down with one hand and up with the other, keeping both on the wheel.

Get with the times: You’re driving all wrong | NBC News


  • its also advised to rest your thumbs on the little indents, and not have them wrap around the wheel, that way you hand should slide around the wheel in an impact rather than lock onto it with your thumb and most likely break it

  • For those who learn better via video:

    How to hold your steering wheel on the street:

    Once you’ve mastered this, and once you’ve passed your driving test; now it’s time to learn how to steer properly.

    #1. Watch this video how to hold your wheel. It’s 9 & 3 until your arms are crossed:

    #2. But more importantly, don’t jerk the wheel. Smooth and steady. (They don’t mention it in the video, but watch closely how the driver holds the wheel through turns. Don’t shuffle. Don’t let go of the wheel.):

    If you’re driving with passion, you have enough to worry about outside the car. Your hands should know where your front wheels are pointed AT ALL TIMES – without you needing to wait for feedback at the front of the car, or look at the wheel to see where its landed. (ie. Don’t let go of the wheel, and don’t use hand-over-hand.)

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