Steering Techniques For Safe Driving & Car Control

steering techniques

There are a lot of questions about how to hold your steering wheel safely while driving. Here we are going to go through some of the different steering techniques and talk about why some of them are very dangerous and risky. By the way, it’s illegal if your car does not have a horn in British Columbia. You may need it to literally save the day.


Poor Steering Techniques: Hooking

How to Safely Steer a Car Properly
How to Safely Steer a Car Properly
Hooking the wheel is when you grab it like this

steering techniques

Some drivers use this technique before/while doing a turn.

There is a problem with this, though. This could be quite terrible in the event of a collision where the steering wheel airbag were to deploy – which does so at about 300 km/hr.

Arms could also potentially get stuck and injured in the event of a collision.

If you are seen using this technique on the ICBC road test Opens in a new will not pass the road test, even if your driving is otherwise flawless.

And since you asked, let’s look at some other ways to hold the wheel/steering:

Poor Steering Techniques: Palming the wheel

Avoid “Palming” the wheel as well as it is not good control at all

Palming the wheel

 Poor Steering Techniques: “12 and Stick”

Try and avoid the “12 and Stick” position as well.

Two hands on the wheel are much better control than one.

Steering wheel driving

Recommended Steering Technique: ‘9 and 3’

The #1 recommended way to hold the wheel for general driving is at the 9 and 3 position.

You can turn the wheel the most while keeping your hands on the wheel and it is the best position if the airbag were to deploy.

Many wheels even have thumb/finger grips to encourage drivers to hold the wheel here.

9 and 3 steering
clock for wheel

Steering Techniques: ’10 and 2′?

10 and 2 could be deadly in the event of a crash and is no longer recommended by professionals due to the risk of airbag injuries.

It used to be ‘the way,’ but now that cars have airbags, it is going out of style.

CTV News – 10 and 2 Dangerous, say experts.

10 and 2 steering

Back in the good old days when it was a rule that you had to have your hands at 10 and 2, there were no air bags inside of steering wheels.

Now it is Canadian law that all new vehicles are equipped with a steering wheel airbag (and many cars have airbags in additional locations).

Times change, and so must our habits.

Steering Techniques: ‘8 and 4’?

8 and 4 is acceptable in my opinion when driving for long distances on the highway/freeway.

Maazda 8 and 4 steering wheel method

Steering Techniques: Shuffle Steering

A good way to steer is to use the shuffle steering method

Do not sit too close to the steering wheel.

Make sure you’re sitting no closer than 25 cm to the steering wheel.

airbag steering

 Do not put feet on airbags

DO NOT let people rest their legs on the dashboard unless they are fine with resting their legs on a bomb.

Not trying to be dramatic with that statement; it’s simply the truth.

don't rest feet on airbag
Shuffle Steering Demonstration

Can I drive my car without a horn?

It it illegal to drive my car without a horn? Some people are wondering about this.

Yes, it’s illegal to drive your car without a properly working horn. This is dangerous. You need to be able to make a sound to alert other road users if there’s some kind of a situation, or worse, an emergency situation.

If your horn isn’t working, get it repaired immediately, or don’t drive the vehicle.


Steering Demo

Drive safely!

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Carmen became a driving instructor at the age of 22 in North Vancouver, Canada and is an experienced writer, blogger, photographer, artist, philosopher, certified day dreamer and generally complicated human.

11 thoughts on “Steering Techniques For Safe Driving & Car Control

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