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What Is the Proper Way to Hold a Steering Wheel?

When placing his or her hands on a steering wheel, a driver should think of the wheel as the face of a clock. It was once recommended for the hands to be at 10 o'clock and 2 o'clock, but experts now say the hands should be at 9 and 4, although many say that 8 and 4 is also acceptable. This lower grip allows the driver to maintain control of the car while also preventing injuries to the face if the car's airbag inflates, causing the driver's hands to snap back into his or her face.

More about airbags and driving tips:

  • While both hands generally should remain on the steering wheel, one-handed driving might be necessary while the driver is adjusting the car's controls.

  • If the steering wheel shakes when the brakes are applied, the car might have a rotor problem. The car should be taken to a mechanic to have it examined.

  • Some automobiles now contain sensors that assess a driver or passenger's size, position and whether he or she is wearing a seat belt. The airbag mechanism uses this information to control deployment in order to reduce the risk of injury.

Discussion Comments

By skymann786 — On Dec 10, 2012

I think whether it's 10 and 2, 9 and 3 or 8 and 4, one must always use both hands instead driving with one hand. It is serious not to grip the steering wheel with both hands. You can't balance properly with one hand.

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