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Proper Steering Techniques

Wilbert Tan
Carmudi

This may sound like a no-brainer, but many drivers actually don’t know how to steer their car properly–much less hold the steering wheel the right way. Proper holding and steering is an important safety precaution to observe every time you take your vehicle out. Drivers who use the proper steering techniques are less likely to cause an accident and will be able to get the most efficient use out of their vehicle.

Steering wheel hand position

There are two widely-accepted hand positions when holding the steering wheel. Imagine that the wheel is the face of a clock. The first proper hand position would be to put your left hand where the number ’10’’would be and the right hand on number ‘2.’ This position is called the 10:2 position, and is the traditional method taught by driving schools and instructors. However, it mostly applies to cars with very large steering wheels and no power steering. Modern techniques are saying that the 9:3 position is a more natural and relaxed method, and is more applicable to today’s cars, which are equipped with power steering (and steering wheel control buttons). Nevertheless, both techniques are accepted, and you are free to choose which one you’re more comfortable with. Persons of taller stature may find the 9:3 position less comfortable and favor the 10:2 technique instead.

Steering techniques

Proper hand position is only one part of the equation. You also need to know how to steer properly so you can have good control of the vehicle. Here’s what you need to do:

Look ahead

When steering, don’t stare at your hands or steering wheel. Keep your eyes on the road, and watch out in the rearview mirror.

Have a firm grip

Aside from steering the car, the steering wheel also tells you how well it is gripping the road and how effective your turning is. You’ll never be able to obtain these vital pieces of information with an overly light touch or if you’re choking it too hard.

Keep both hands on the wheel

You will be able to react faster to obstacles on the road when you have both hands on the wheel at all times. That’s why it’s advisable to not have any distracting devices in front of you. If you need use of your hands, let them do their job quickly and bring them straight back to the wheel.

Remember these tips at all times while driving. If your car has adjustable steering settings, don’t be afraid to fiddle with them until you find a setting that works best for you. And never drive with only one hand for prolonged periods. Let these tips increase your safety on the road.

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