Tips for New Drivers: Where to Keep Your Hands on the Wheel

October 1st, 2018 by

Man's hands on steering wheel

Where do you keep your hands on the wheel when you drive? If you’ve been driving for a number of years, you probably instinctively think “10 and 2”. You might be surprised to learn that that’s not the standard anymore. If you’re preparing to teach your kids to drive, you might want to read up on what has changed since you learned. In this blog, Thompson Sales offers up some advice on how and why the typical steering position has changed.

From 10 and 2 to 9 and 3

Keeping your hands at “10 and 2” on the wheel was the standard for a long time, but the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has since changed it to 9 and 3. The main reason for this is the adoption of airbags as a standard feature in vehicles.

The typical 10 and 2 position puts your hands and forearms in the way of the airbag. If the airbag is ever deployed, you risk airbag malfunction or serious injury. 9 and 3 puts your hands in a much safer position while still maintaining control of your vehicle.

To give you an idea of just how risky 10 and 2 can be, a common injury from airbag deployment at high speed with hands in the position is called “de-gloving”. You can probably imagine what that means so we won’t go into the gruesome details here.

Some Things Stay the Same

While you might have to get used to keeping your hands in a different position, most of the old standards of safe driving still apply. If you’re teaching a younger driver, keep these tips in mind.

Sit Back from the Wheel

Don’t sit too close to the steering wheel. Sitting too close can make it harder to steer, as well as increase the risk of injury. Sit further back, but not so far you’re straining to reach the wheel or the pedals.

Where to Keep Your Feet

Speaking of the pedals, keep your left foot on the floor and your right foot on its heel, ready to move between the accelerator and the brake. If you’re driving a manual transmission, you’ll have the extra learning curve of using and balancing the clutch. Like any part of driving, this is something that eventually becomes second nature with experience.

Stay Focused

Above all, whether you’re a new driver yourself or you’ve been behind the wheel for years, the most important thing is to stay alert. Keep your eyes on the road and avoid driving when you’re overly tired or distracted. 

Looking for a New Car? Visit Thompson Sales Today

If you’re a new driver or you’re just looking for a new car, visit our car dealership in Springfield, MO today. Thompson Sales offers the best in new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles. We’re always happy to help, so take a look at what we have to offer and talk to our car sales team.

Posted in Driving Tips