What Are Your Preferred Hand Positions On The Steering Wheel?
More than 50 years ago, my driver's ed teacher burned into my brain that the "Proper Hand Position" on the steering wheel was always at the 10 and 2 (clock) positions.
However, recently I have seen a bunch of "Sporting Street Drivers" on film, TV, and YouTube utilizing the 3 and 9 hand positions.
What hand positions** do you use for daily (or otherwise) driving, and why do you think they are superior to the "Old School" 10 and 2 (clock) positions?
**BTW, don't get me started by making replies like, "One hand on the wheel, plus one hand on my cell phone." No one likes a hater!
I have read a handling book written by an experienced author. I will just paraphrase on memory.
Basically he mentioned that steering wheel hand position depends on the person and what feels natural and right.
What he did mention that was critical is seat position which most people get wrong. People think that you need plenty of room so they either push the seat back and or recline the seat which is the worst thing to do for steering wheel control. He made a sarcastic remark that it's not a lazy boy designed for comfort, its an operators chair that has to be focused on driving.
What he suggested was to move the seat up and the recliner at attention. Basically he said to be erect and at attention with the elbows slightly bent so it acts like a spring when you are rotating the wheel aggressively rather than motioning your body when you run out of extension.
The author said this will give you great tactile and precise control where you can keep your eyes focused on the road and with the least amount of distractions as your arm muscles do all of the work. The same with the pedals as you want just the right amount of bend in the knee where you have precise quick control.
It was sometime around 2005 after reading that book I changed my seating position and my driving skills improved many folds with fast inputs without much effort however it has taken a short period of time to adjust to the new seating position because it felt a little weird but over time I cant drive any car without gravitating towards adjusting the seat making me realize that most people are missing out. I also noticed that my posture has improved when taking long drives which makes long distant travel less fatiguing.
I use 10 and 2... Exactly where the hand grip is on the OEM steering wheel. Sometimes when I'm keeping one hand on the shifter I'll catch myself with my left hand at 9.
As dev mentioned... I also sit at attention when I drive and much closer to the wheel/pedals than anyone else I know. I've always felt I have better control that way.
Well the alleged "Steering With Weenie" practice really helps to explains all of the drivers who wander from lane to lane without any perceptible reason. It may also help explain why certain folks drive obliviously down the road without realizing that their turn signal indicator is stuck in the "On" position.
I also wonder if cold weather conditions could accelerate the lane wandering behavior?
Most of the time it is left hand at 12:00, or sometimes as far as 1:00, and close enough to keep the elbow bent, right hand nearly always on the shifter.
12:00 seems like it would be awkward, but that's where it always ends up. I think my brain has decided that's where I can react the fastest. Or maybe its just the least fatiguing; I can just let my arm hang there. Likely a bit of both.
Both hands go to 10 & 2/shifter when things get lively.
The way you know you seating position is correct is when the back of your head is supported and touching the seat. Most people I see have their head far away from the headrest.
When you do this it will seem like your seat is too far forward and you will look like a nerdy old man with bad eye sight. It is by far the furthest thing from the gangster lean but at least you will not look like a poser.