The conventional wisdom that the best way to grip a steering wheel is to put one’s hands at “10 o’clock and 2 o’clock” is wrong and dangerous, according to AAA.
AAA Manager of Driver Training Operations William Van Tassel, PhD, explains in the video below that “10 and 2” dates from the era before power steering. Turning the wheel required more force then, and pulling down on it was the easiest way to do it.
But easy-to-turn wheels and airbags have changed the logic. If the driver’s hands are at the top of the wheel when the wheel-mounted airbag deploys, they are likely to be knocked into his face. If they are at the bottom of the wheel, they will be sent sideways, and do no further damage.
The better hand positions, Tassel says, are 9 and 3 or 8 and 4, where they are out of the way and still in control.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.