3 Tips to Improve Your Steering Technique to Drive Safer
What would be your first guess if someone came up to you and asked what the leading cause of car crashes was? For many, they would assume that drunk driving would be the leading factor for car accidents, while others may assume reckless driving to be so. Surprisingly, poor steering wheel technique is the leading cause of car accidents, according to the NHTSA.
Are you worried that your current steering wheel technique is hampering your ability to drive and increasing your chances of a car accident? In this article, we'll share various steering tips to help you drive safer:
1. Change the 10-2 Technique to a 9-3 Technique
During your driving training, you may have been told about the 10-2 technique. This technique refers to the position of your hand on the steering wheel, the left being the 10 o'clock position and the right at the 2 o'clock position. While this may work for vehicles with large steering wheels, it has been found out that this technique can be dangerous for smaller steering wheels with airbags.
As a recommendation, for vehicles with smaller wheel sizes, the 9-3 technique should be employed instead. This will facilitate better push-pull steering, a technique we will elaborate on later. If you are unsure about where to place your hands, feel free to refer to the vehicle's manual to check!
2. Practice the Push-Pull Steering Technique
The push-pull technique is a technique in which you use one hand to push the wheel on one side, and the other hand to pull the wheel. For example, if you want to turn left, your left hand will go up to around the 1 o'clock position, turning the wheel with only your left hand. Meanwhile, your right-hand slides down the wheel while you are turning, meeting the left hand at the bottom point of the wheel. At that point, your right hand takes over, gripping onto the wheel and pushing the wheel further to the left as needed while the left hand slides back up the wheel, ready to meet the right hand to repeat the process.
Why is this technique so good? It gives you great control over your vehicle, all the while preventing injuries. This is because this technique prevents your hands from criss-crossing each other, reducing the risk of more injuries should the airbags deploy. On that note, understand that this is just one of the many techniques you can employ, but be sure to try and practice this one, too!
3. Maintain Proper Posture and Positioning
Knowing how to hold your steering wheel is one thing to keep you safer should an accident occur. However, you mustn't forget that your posture and positioning also play an essential role in this. Lousy posture can quickly spell disaster should you get into an accident, and it can also increase the likelihood of a crash.
To avoid this problem, always take the time to adjust your posture and positioning before driving. This includes appropriately adjusting the seat, the side mirrors, the headrest, and more. Not only will this make you much more comfortable and you drive, but it will also help you drive safer.
With all of that being said, take the time to practice the proper steering techniques if you feel your current technique isn't good enough. Doing so will not only allow you to drive your vehicle much safer but reduces the possible injuries you may incur on yourself should you get into an accident. If you are still training to obtain your car driver's license, learning the right techniques is a must. You will more than likely be asked about proper steering techniques, so knowing them prior will ensure your success in your driving tests to get the license you need to hit the road!
Athens Driving Prep offers custom driving lessons to ensure each driver gains the knowledge and skills needed to drive safely and successfully. If you are looking for the best driving school, book an appointment with us today!