INTRODUCTION: Mastering control of the steering wheel is the most difficult while driving as a beginner. To be a safe driver, steering wheel control is crucial. The ability to effectively control the steering wheel while driving is a fundamental skill required for the purpose of ensuring both the safety and efficiency of vehicle navigation on highways. Driver must be able to control steering properly while driving around gentle corners or on bumpy roads. Let’s dive deep in discussion of how to control car steering wheel.
IMPORTANCE: According to recent crash statistics, driver errors related to steering techniques are the primary causes of road accidents. However, many traditional steering methods have proven to be outdated and ineffective in preventing such incidents. With the ever-evolving advancements in technology, the demands on driver steering techniques continue to change.
The term “distracted driving” refers to any activity that takes the driver’s attention off the road, including eating, drinking, chatting on the phone, adjusting the radio, entertainment, or navigation system, and texting or talking on a cell phone. In USA 2021, 3,522 people died as a result of distracted driving.
Nearly 3,000 people every year in the USA lose their lives in car accidents, and over 29,000 people have died as a result of distracted driving since 2012. In 2022 42,795 people died in crashes involving reckless driving.
Let’s explore the evolving nature of steering techniques and offers recommendations to maximize vehicle control and minimize the risk of accidents. Maintaining a grip on the steering wheel with both hands and ensuring undivided attention on the road ahead are key elements that promise to safe and effective steering.
The Evolution of the Steering Wheel
Over the years, the steering wheel and its associated systems have undergone important transformations. Various aspects such as size, required input, steering responsiveness, steering ratios, and effort required to turn the wheel have all witnessed notable changes. Consequently, steering wheel hand position recommendations have become more flexible to accommodate these adjustments.
Efficient Steering Techniques
Effective steering requires a balance between effortless motion and the minimization of sudden steering wheel reversals for optimal vehicle control. Achieving this requires proper hand positioning and technique.
A firm but soft grip is essential. It is best to use your fingers rather than your palms, with your thumbs up along the face of the steering wheel. Gripping the wheel from the inside of its rim should be avoided at all costs because it might affect control.
By dedicating our full visual focus to the road, we prioritize the safety of ourselves, our passengers, and other fellow road users.
This responsible approach to steering allows us to respond swiftly and accurately to any potential hazards or unexpected situations that may arise while driving.
To be a safe driver, mastering steering control is crucial. It involves navigating bends and junctions while staying in the correct road position. In this article, we will explore different steering techniques for various turns and intersections.
We will also provide tips on adjusting your seat and steering wheel for comfortable and effective control. The following are a step-by-step set of general principles of how to control car steering wheel.
1 of 10 Adjusting Seat & Steering Wheel
Driver seat and steering wheel must be adjusted to achieve comfortable driving position. You should be able to reach the steering wheel without any strain or stretching. Modern vehicles have adjustable steering columns that are usable to find optimal position. Suitable driving position will enable you have clear visibility of the instrument panel.
2 of 10 Correct Hand Placement
Position your both hands on the steering wheel at either the “9 o’clock” and “3 o’clock” positions, or slightly elevated at “10 o’clock” and “2 o’clock.” It is recommended to place both hands on the steering wheel outside and on opposite sides.
This role offers an ideal level of maneuverability, facilitating accurate movements, easy access to indicator and wiper stalks without the need to excessively reposition your hands. Additionally, keeping a relaxed grip on the steering wheel will help to prevent hand discomfort and also make you feel road’s grip through the tires.
It is important to note that, unless while changing gears, driver must hold wheel with both hands all the time for best control. It will allow him/her to react quickly in case of sudden maneuvers. This continuous contact with the steering wheel enables you to make rapid and accurate adjustments. Ensuring your safety and the safety of others on the road.
3 of 10 The Push-Pull Technique
This method involves placing your left hand between 7 and 8 o’clock on the wheel and your right hand between 4 and 5 o’clock. Your left or right hand should push the wheel up. While the other glides up, grips the wheel, and pulls down to turn. The pushing hand adjusts by slipping back as the pulling hand pulls lower. The left hand should use the wheel’s 11–8 o’clock area regardless of turning direction, whereas the right hand should use 1–8.
Reversing this step gets the vehicle back on track. Since the hands never cross the steering wheel, this reduces the risk of frontal airbag-related facial, hand, and arm injuries. It can be used for making lane changes or performing bigger turns.
While doing a turning manoeuvre, it is recommended to position one hand on the outside of the steering wheel, specifically the hand that is located closest to the direction in which the turn is meant to go. This hand should exert force by pressing in the desired direction to achieve the intended effect. At the same time, the second hand should be positioned on the inside of the wheel and a hard pull should be applied to it. This approach offers a greater degree of leverage and control.
4 of 10 Hand-Over-Hand Steering
This technique is commonly used in situations that require low-speed turns, such as navigating through intersections with limited visibility, executing precise parking maneuvers, or recovering from skids.
- To perform hand-over-hand steering, position your left hand on the steering wheel between the 8 and 9 o’clock positions, while your right hand should be placed between 3 and 4 o’clock.
- Depending on the direction of the turn you intend to make, you should utilize the top third of the steering wheel on the corresponding side. For right turns, use the right top third of the wheel, and for left turns, use the left top third.
- Begin the turning process by firmly grasping the wheel with your right or left hand and pushing it upward in the desired direction. Simultaneously, release the grip of the opposite hand, reach it across the other arm, and securely grasp the wheel.
- With a coordinated motion, pull the wheel in a downward motion, guiding it up, over, and down as necessary to complete the turn smoothly and precisely.
- As the wheel goes up, the hand that started the pushing movement lets go of the wheel, letting it go back to where it started.
- To bring the vehicle back into the intended path, simply reverse the hand-over-hand process. Initiate the push with the opposite hand, release the wheel, reach across the other arm, grasp the wheel again, and pull it up, over, and down in the appropriate direction.
5 of 10 Steering Techniques for Gentle Corners
While going through soft turns, you don’t need to move your hands on the wheel. In most cases, a quarter turn in either direction is usually enough. After the going around the bend, the wheel will return back to its normal driving position. Always turn the wheel smoothly to ensure a comfortable ride and to prevent skidding.
6 of 10 Steering Techniques for Tight Bends
For tight bends, use a specific steering technique. Turn the wheel between your hands. Keep your left hand on the left side and right hand on the right side of the steering wheel. Avoid crossing your hands, as it can pose the risk if the airbag deploys. Keep control by adjusting steering wheel to necessary degree as much as needed in either direction. Using this approach, you can navigate tight bends safely and effectively.
7 of 10 Steering at T-Junctions
To stay in your lane when turning at T-junctions, steer precisely and swiftly. To give yourself adequate time to steer, approach gently. You might need to spin the wheel completely in tighter intersections before swiftly straightening up. For precise and safe steering, slow down as needed.
8 of 10 Straightening Steering After Turn
After making a sharp turn, smoothly straighten the wheel. For complete control and the right road placement, slowly steer it back to the straight-ahead position. Don’t let the wheel swerve out of your control. Straighten up slowly to stay in your lane.
9 of 10 Roundabout Steering Tactics
Different-sized roundabouts call for different steering tactics. For smaller roundabouts, feed the wheel fast to maintain your lane. Adapt your speed to the size of the roundabout. When navigating larger roundabouts, you may not even need to move your hands. Smoothly turn, and precisely step out.
10 of 10 Oversteering
It’s important to be careful about oversteering, which is use of excessive twisting of steering wheel. It can deviates the car from desired direction you want to go. To prevent oversteering too much, it’s best to make changes slowly and carefully so that the path stays smooth and consistent.
Practice and Familiarize Yourself
With the process of repetition and experience, one can learn to control steering wheel for driving. Driving in a variety of situations and environments will help you become familiar with the sensitivity and responsiveness of your car’s steering system. The practice of this manoeuvre can help you become more at ease and assured when manipulating the steering system.
When driving an automobile, it is essential to always observe the local traffic laws and regulations. Additionally, it is advisable to consult the owner’s manual for specific instructions and recommendations. As each vehicle’s steering characteristics may vary.
Reverse Steering Techniques
Mastering the art of steering while reversing a car requires practice and precision. A step-by-step guide to this manoeuvre:
- Position yourself: Adjust your seat and mirrors to ensure clear visibility. Hold the steering wheel firmly and place your right hand on the passenger-side headrest for reference.
- Determine your preferred path: Determine the car’s direction when reversing. This helps you predict steering adjustments.
- Engage the correct gear: If your car has a manual gearbox, depress the clutch or pick reverse gear.
- Turn your head and use mirrors: Look over your right shoulder and use the rearview and side mirrors to get a full view.
- Begin reversing slowly: Slowly release the clutch or accelerator to reverse. Maintain a slow and controlled speed throughout the maneuver.
- Steer in the desired direction: Turn the steering wheel the other way to steer the car. To move the car’s rear left, turn the steering wheel right, and vice versa.
- Small, precise adjustments: Monitor the car’s position relative to your chosen course. Keep the car on course with modest, precise steering wheel adjustments.
- Use reference points: Use side mirrors or stationary objects to estimate the car’s position and distance from obstacles.
- Practice smooth coordination: Focus on coordinating the movement of the steering wheel with the speed and direction of the car. This will help you refine your control and achieve smoother reversals.
- Regularly examine your surroundings: Keep an eye out for pedestrians, other vehicles, or other potential hazards. Stay alert and ready to stop or change course.
Practice, practice, practice
Reversing improves with practice. Find an empty parking lot or quiet street to practice in a low-stress environment. Reversing steering takes practice. You’ll get better at reversing over time and will definitely learn how to control steering wheel.
For safe and precise driving, mastering steering skills is crucial. Set your hands in the right positions, adjust your seat and steering wheel, and practice various manoeuvres. Keep your hands relaxed, steer easily, and straighten slowly. By doing this, you make sure your car maintains its proper position relative to the road, increasing overall driving safety.
Maintaining a grip on the steering wheel with both hands and ensuring undivided attention on the road ahead are key elements that promise to safe and effective steering.
Steering errors still cause many traffic accidents. Drivers can improve vehicle control and prevent crashes by adapting to steering technology and using efficient steering strategies. Remember that using hand-to-hand steering and good hand posture can make driving safer. These tips help drivers avoid steering-related accidents.
How can i get better at steering?
To enhance steering abilities, practice frequently in various driving scenarios and prioritize maintaining a steady grip on the wheel while anticipating and adapting to road conditions.
What is the 9 and 3 hand position?
The 9 and 3 hand position means placing your hands on the steering wheel at 9 o’clock and 3 o’clock for improved control and safety while driving.
What are the 3 main techniques of steering?
The three main steering techniques are hand-over-hand, push-pull, and hand-to-hand. Each technique involves different hand movements and grip styles for effective control.
What is the technique for hands on steering wheel for test?
During a driving test, use the 9 and 3 hand position on the steering wheel for optimal control and safety.