Holding the steering wheel correctly not only gives us a better sense of what’s happening with the car and greater control of the car, but it also allows us to react faster in an emergency. In addition, it is also an important safety issue in the event of an accident. We explain why.
The wrong way to keep your hands on the steering wheel is one of the most common bad habits among drivers not only in Poland but also all over the world. The reasons for the emergence of bad habits in this matter are usually matters of comfort and overconfidence. This is one of the reasons why many drivers hold the steering wheel with only one hand – either up or down – or with just their fingers, believing that in an emergency they will be able to act and get out of trouble. However, life shows that such a dismissive approach often leads to hiccups – if we slip or suddenly have to avoid an obstacle, our hands can’t keep up and we won’t be able to save ourselves from trouble.
The same thing will happen if we hold the steering wheel from the inside or turn it with one open hand – as if we were washing windows or polishing the body of our car in a circular motion. This way, it’s easy to lose control of the car when your hand slips.
Here are the habits that drivers should avoid:
- Holding the steering wheel with one hand,
- Incorrect position of the hands, for example above the steering wheel,
- Holding the steering wheel from the inside,
- Bend your thumb toward the inside of the steering wheel,
- Shake with open hand.
Therefore, holding the steering wheel correctly is very important. How do you keep your hands on the steering wheel properly? The simplest way is to look at the steering wheel like a clock face. The correct way to keep your hands on the wheel is to place it in the “quarter to three” or “ten to ten” position, i.e. 3 and 9 or 2 and 10. Thanks to this, we have complete control and feeling over the car, and we can react quickly. Above all, it is important to keep both hands on the steering wheel and only lift one of them when we need to change gear or, for example, open the car window.
We should not hold the steering wheel too tightly, but should hold it freely and loosely, without pulling our hands on the steering wheel. This causes fatigue much faster and reduces the feel of the car. In addition, if we hold the steering wheel tightly, the smoothness of driving and free movement of the hands during sharp turns or U-turns are violated. We must also remember not to wrap our thumbs around the steering wheel. The main reason here is safety.
Remembering to keep your hands on the steering wheel in the manner specified above is justified in terms of safety, because in the event of an accident and the airbag deploys, the airbag will do its job – it will absorb the impact of the head and torso flying towards the steering wheel. If we kept one hand on the “top of the steering wheel,” the airbag’s fiery charge would shoot it toward our face. At best it means a broken arm and nose, and at worst it can end tragically. It’s like holding the steering wheel with your thumb or other fingers from inside the steering wheel – activating the airbag could damage our fingers and hands.
Turning the steering wheel should involve moving your hands, as if you were turning the rudder of a pirate ship. We should not cross our arms, and when we need to turn the steering wheel more forcefully, we should not move our hands – this is simply too slow and causes the steering wheel to shake. This is not a smooth way to drive a car. It is best if the steering wheel and the driver’s seat are placed at a distance and at an angle so that the arms are slightly bent at the elbows and the hands rest on the steering wheel naturally, without any unusual bend that may cause discomfort and fatigue faster.
Rally drivers sit close to the steering wheel, because reaction speed is more important than accuracy (when skidding, they often have to counter the wheels to keep the car on track). Slightly curved levers are the best compromise between accuracy, response time and ride comfort
Echo Richards embodies a personality that is a delightful contradiction: a humble musicaholic who never brags about her expansive knowledge of both classic and contemporary tunes. Infuriatingly modest, one would never know from a mere conversation how deeply entrenched she is in the world of music. This passion seamlessly translates into her problem-solving skills, with Echo often drawing inspiration from melodies and rhythms. A voracious reader, she dives deep into literature, using stories to influence her own hardcore writing. Her spirited advocacy for alcohol isn’t about mere indulgence, but about celebrating life’s poignant moments.