March 23rd, 2012Top Story
By Melanie Pinola
It turns out that many of the driving guidelines that we were taught in drivers’ ed class have changed, including the old standby of keeping our hands on the steering wheel at the 10 and 2 positions on a clock.
The new take: AAA, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and driving instructors teach that you should keep your hands lower, at 9 and 3 o’clock, or even lower, at 8 and 4. MSNBC says this change is partly to protect our hands and head, because if airbags go off, they’re more likely to injure your hands that are higher up on the steering wheel and then slam your hands into your head. So apparently it’s a "stop hitting yourself" adjustment.
You may also have more control or improved stability in that "parallel position", another term for the 9 and 3 steering wheel position, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety’s guidelines for new drivers (PDF).
Finally, that "hand over hand" turning maneuver you were taught? Also out. Now:
This, too, is for safety reasons to avoid the perils of a deploying airbag. So there you have it. News to us. How about you?
Photo remixed by Christopher Elwell(Shutterstock)