Proper Hand Position

steering proper hand positions

We recommend that you steer using the modified hand-to-hand method. We call it “modified” because you never actually bring your right hand to contact your left hand. Parents were probably taught hand-over-hand and, prior to driver side airbags, and that was acceptable. In today’s automobile it is important to keep your hands away from the top of the steering wheel. If the airbag deploys, you will likely hit yourself in the face with the force of the airbag’s deployment as well as the force of your own forward motion in the vehicle. 

When using the push-pull method to turn, the left hand grasps the wheel between 7 and 8 o’clock and the right hand grasps the wheel between 4 and 5 o’clock. Depending on the direction of the turn, the right or left hand pushes the wheel up and the opposite hand slides up, grasps the wheel and pulls down to continue the turn but you never bring your hands above the 11 and 1 position. While the pulling hand moves down, the hand that initially pushed up slides back toward its original position to make adjustments as needed. Simply reverse the hand-to-hand process to bring the vehicle onto your intended path. Initially, you may be confused about push-pull steering method. 

If a new driver’s hands are positioned at 7/9 or 3/5, a more natural seated position, there tends to be less muscle stress hence less weaving in a lane. With the arms next to the body, it is more natural to keep both hands on the wheel at all times. Since the hands and arms never cross over the steering wheel there is less chance of injury to the face.

Practice proper hand position and steering method using a frisbee, paper plate, or other disk or wheel before you get behind the wheel of a car.


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