Steering: Proper Hand Position

Opinions vary as to exactly what constitutes proper hand position on the steering wheel. Your parents probably grew up with the 10:00 / 2:00 position. This position is no longer preferred because deploying airbags may throw the driver’s hands into his face.

Now that driver side airbags are standard equipment in the steering wheels of new cars, the 8:00 / 4:00 hand position has become an increasingly preferred hand movements taught in Virginia schools. Either of these positions, or anywhere between them, is a good hand position as long as the student is comfortable.

Try several hand positions while parked. You and your parents need to talk about the pros and cons of each and understand their expectations of you.

Do not drive with only one hand on the steering wheel, wrists crossed, or both hands at the 12:00 position.

Again, airbags are the factor. Should the airbag deploy, you want to be sure the hands are directed out or down, not in the driver’s face. 

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