Steering Wheel Technique: Which is the Best?

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The two most important considerations when steering a motor vehicle are Steering Wheel Grip and Steering Wheel Technique.

Steering Wheel Grip Rules
  1. Position your hands on the steering wheel so they're able to exert maximum leverage when needed without resting your arm on the door.
  2. On straight roads, your hands should settle into an effective position on the steering wheel - ten to two or quarter to three, only tightening your grip when cornering or braking. This rule implies that when the vehicle is travelling at normal road speeds both hands should be on the steering wheel. Gear changing should be done before a corner and not in the corner unless the speed of the vehicle is very slow and you might have to stop the vehicle (e.g. turning left through a slip lane or where the view is poor).
  3. On a greasy or slippery road surface, do not tighten your grip on the wheel. This tends to roughen your movement of the wheel and may induce skidding.
  4. Place your thumbs over the front edge of the wheel.  Avoid wrapping your thumbs around the inside of the wheel as the vehicle's front wheels may turn the steering wheel over a bump or impact situation.  This places your thumbs in danger from the sudden steering wheel spin.
Steering Wheel Technique

There are two methods of steering a motor vehicle that demonstrate correct steering wheel technique.  These are the pull-push steering method and the hand-over-hand method. Your Driving Instructor should assist in deciding which method is most suitable for you.

Pull Push Steering vs Hand Over Hand Steering

There is some debate over which steering wheel technique provides a safer driving experience.  Recent laws mandating airbags in new vehicles have made some question the safety of the hand over hand method.  This is because crossing arms in front of the air bag may increase the likelihood of injury should the airbag be deployed.  Approved Driving School doesn't provide a specific recommendation on which steering wheel method you should use, however we suggest taking this under consideration.  Older vehicles without power assisted steering may be controlled more efficiently using the hand over hand steering method.

The following video demonstrates the pull push vs hand over hand steering methods...

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