Steering Techniques For Safe & Fabulous Driving

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.


Poor Steering Techniques: Hooking

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 you 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

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.


Drive safely!


Carmen became a driving instructor at the age of 22 in North Vancouver, Canada. She enjoys writing as much as driving, and hopes you have found this website helpful.

11 thoughts on “Steering Techniques For Safe & Fabulous Driving

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  4. I have a question regarding to blocking x walk ..

    I a going to turn left .in 2 ways stop ( I do believe the name I am using is not correctly correct … )
    As I do not have a good
    vision .. I have to come over Pedestrian Crosswalk .. But the traffic is
    heavy … which then ( while at first there was not any ) the pedestrian come over…
    Is that wrong ?

    which timeexaminers would penalized as Blocking X walk ?


  5. Hi Carmen. 9 to 3 is correct, but the woman in the video is doing it wrong. She has 10 to 2, sometimes even 11 to 1. Shuffling the steering wheel is not smart, because you often end up with both hands very close to each other, which can give you less control if you need to steer quickly away from an abstruction in the road. How do you do it yourself? I recommend climbing from 12 to 7 when going left and 12 to 5 when going right. Sorry for my bad Norwegian English. Best regards from Joakim Nilsen, Driving Instructor from Norway.

  6. I love how this article talks about hand positions being at 9 and 3, yet you showcase a video of a woman that’s maintaining both hands near the top of the wheel.

  7. The videos are so confusing to me I don’t know why I’m just not getting it right now

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