Hands On Steering

10 May 2012 - By Eugene Herbert - The RAC Group

Hi Folks...

So often our trainers, when conducting a course on defensive driving, get asked what is the correct positioning for hands on the steering wheel... Some drivers are of the opinion that the “old system” of push-pull predicates that they should be in the 10 and 2 position (imagine a clock face) and that this is the only way. Advancement in steering design, and incorporation of various controls on the wheel itself have dictated that we take a more pragmatic view, part of which is shared in this brief summary.

First what we don’t do!!! Do not turn the hand and place it inside the rim of the steering in order to assist the turn – the consequences of the steering swinging back could be serious injury


Look at the steering wheel as a clock face, and place your hands at 9 and 3 o’clock or - as promoted by a number of organisation s in the US - slightly lower at 8 and 4 o’clock. These are the desired hand positions that reduce the possibility of turning the wheel too sharply.


To reduce forearm and hand injuries, your hands should be placed on the lower half of the steering wheel, with your knuckles on the outside of the wheel and your thumbs stretched along the rim of the steering wheel.


Here are three of the steering actions most drivers will encounter in everyday driving – and yes there are other steering methods which other drivers use (e.g. specialist drivers) but this is all we have space to deal with


Pull-Push Steering – Use pull-push steering for most turning manoeuvres. Put your hands in the 8 and 4 o’clock positions. Pull down with one hand and push up with the other. This results in smooth steering and reduces the potential for over-steering, which can lead to loss of control. Keep your hands and thumbs on the outside of the wheel. This is particularly effective for parking at the local centre when you are backing in.


Hand-Over-Hand Steering – Use hand-over-hand steering when steering movements are more ‘intense’, such as when performing sharp left / right turns or correcting a skid. Use quick movements on entry to the manoeuvre, and then use slow, smooth movements when straightening the wheel.


One-Hand Steering – Use one-hand steering for backing manoeuvres that do not require full left or right turns – reversing a caravan or trailer comes to mind. If one hand is used when operating vehicle controls for information, safety or comfort get this done in as short a time as possible and then return both hands to the wheel for maximum control


Till next time – drive time is steering time. Both hands on the wheel
The team at MASTERDRIVE
Remember Arrive Alive with MASTERDRIVE





http://advanceddriving.co.za

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