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  • Category: Miscellaneous

    Which is the safest position of your hands to hold a steering wheel while driving?

    Imagine a steering wheel to be a clock and the hands of the clock to be your hands. So, which of the following positions of hands do you think is the safest position to hold a steering wheel while driving?

    a) 10:10 or
    b) 09:15 or
    c) 08:20

    Knowledgeable members may share their views and experiences.
  • #651281
    I do not think there is any safest position to hold the steering wheel. It all depends upon how one feels while driving. The traffic conditions also change the way we hold the steering wheel. I feel 08.10 is comfortable and relaxed for me in most of the traffic conditions.
    " Be Good and Do Good "

  • #651290
    No idea. Very eager to know the answer from more experienced and mature car drivers.
    Beware! I question everything and everybody.

  • #651293
    In driving schools, the master teaches as 09.15. But I hold my steering at 08.20 to drive relaxedly while on the highway, and 10.10 while in the city for careful driving. I am a long fellow. Hence the time angles doesn't matter much. Unlike my hard Padmini, the latest vehicles have very smooth steering.
    No life without Sun

  • #651299
    I drive car having steering at 10:10 it used to be at 9:15 when started learning car driving and I think most of the learners follow this.

    " It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not" ... Andre Gide

  • #651301
    To me 09:15 seems to be a logical approach as it gives sufficient space for manoeuvrability in both the sides but it may vary from individual to individual.

    What happens that when a person learns driving he does not bother for these subtleties and somehow learns the driving. During this learning phase depending on his height and length of the hands he feels comfortable in one position which can be anything among the various options mentioned by the author of the thread.

    Once this position remains in memory it remains their for ever and the driver feels comfortable only in that. Incidentally I am comfortable with 09:15 position.

    Knowledge is power.

  • #651340
    While driving 09:15 angle/mode is comfortable for me. But a news visual presented by Z news recently says that it is always ideal to hold the wheel in the clock direction 08:20 so that it would keep the driver with good posture and makes him free from a backache.

    As said by Mr.Umesh, it all depends on how we start learning to hold a steering wheel and we can't change our style even we come to know that it is not ideal to continue like that.


  • #651346
    As far as I know, I always position in 10:10 position, as it provides me more active positioning switch on 12:00 whenever I have to take a turn, if right, then sliding my right hand to 12:00 and vice versa. The whole idea is to use the steering less and avoid making it complex, so when we have to act, we do it in least time.
    Iti Tyagi
    "Soar to Success"

  • #651392
    Sanjeev Gupta & Iti Tyagi,

    I think you are not aware of the fact that 10:10 is the most unsafe position for driving for the following two reasons:-
    a) For people short in height and in cars without adjustable & telescopic steering, the hands of a driver in 10:10 are higher than the heart, and the heart has to exert more to pump blood to the hands on a steering wheel. Moreover, the position 10:10 tires the hands sooner than in any other position
    b) Nowadays, most of the cars come with two airbags. It has been made compulsory by government. The airbag for driver is located right behind the steering. In case the airbag (on the driver side) gets inflated due to an accident, the hands come between the airbag and the chest & face. The impact of sudden inflation of the airbag in 10:10 position causes very serious injury to the hands and the chest of the driver.

    A fellow ISCian and a learned colleague posted an article Top driving tips every driver should practice. I mentioned the same thing over there on 11 Feb 2018 from my own experiences of driving. Then on Aug 31, 2018, I came across an article in The Times of India, Delhi edition , wherein scientists of IIT Madras conducted a study and concluded that the rate of onset of muscle fatigue was less while driving in 8:20 position as compared to other positions. They also concluded that interfacial pressure of the handgrip on the steering wheel was also better in the 8:20 position and there was uniform loading of the palm, which in turn can lead to lesser fatigue, hence lesser accidents.

    Jagdish, maybe the Zee News got the clue from the study & made the visual after the publication of the study & conclusions of the scientists of IIT Madras.

    PFA the article courtsey Times of India, Delhi edition

    When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you may learn something new!

    Delete Attachment

  • #651394
    Oh my God, I had no idea, and this is really helpful. But I need to discuss this with my instructor, as I am aware of the fact, that I am taller and position is comfortable when it comes to steering and blood flow. But, this airbag stuff is new to me, I need to really understand this better. I can change this habit for sure, and I am glad you posted this. Can we keep this thread running as I have more to discuss further after today.
    Iti Tyagi
    "Soar to Success"

  • #651395
    I hope your instructor is not in his 40s or 50s!

    PFA the same article in PDF format for better reading.

    When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you may learn something new!


    Delete Attachment

  • #651396
    An educative and informative lesson to all who drive four wheeler. Apart from the hands on the steering wheel, one has to have their mind free from tension, and have a good vision and concentration on the front and a rear view vision through your rear view mirrors placed on the sides and in the center. Be careful about the blind spots on your left and right that may not be visible to you on busy roads. Even expert drivers get caught at the blind spot.
    No life without Sun

  • #651407

    Agreed that you are tall, still you need to sit in your car, place your hands on the steering at 10:10 and observe whether your hands are lower or higher than your heart. I am sure your hands will be higher if you do not adjust the steering (lowering the steering, hope your car has adjustable steering).

    Moreover, looks like you missed an important point of load on your palm and arms. One's arms are almost fully stretched out, if one uses 10:10 position. The angle at the elbow is close to 180 degrees. Now while sitting on the driver seat, move your hands to 9:15 position, the angle at the elbow will be lesser if compared to the angle at 10:10 position, and the angle of the elbow is even lesser at 8:20 position. It gets closer to 90 degrees.

    Now do a simple test - forget the car and sit on a chair in a room (or you can do this while standing also), stretch your hands fully and parallel to ground and observe in how many seconds/minutes you feel the arms tiring. Then, bring your hands closer to your body a little bit. The elbows will bend. Now, again observe in how many seconds/minutes you feel the arms tiring. The again bring your hands a bit more close to your body and observe again.

    My observation is that arms get tired faster in position number one, when they are fully stretched out and get least tired when they are closer to our body, position number three. At position number three, the angle at the elbow is closer to 90 degrees.

    I think you have never tried other positions of your hands on a steering and that is why you do not know which one is more comfortable and less tiring.

    By the way, after your last response, I sat on the driver seat of my car. I had already adjusted my seat to the highest level the day I bought it. My hair touch the roof of my car. I put my hands on steering at 10:10 and observed that they were higher than the level of my heart. So, even if you are tall, still your hands will be at a higher level than your heart, provided you do not adjust the steering. (Although my car does have adjustable steering, I have never adjusted it. )

    Sun, can we stay on the topic of 'how to hold the steering properly', please?

    When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you may learn something new!

  • #651409
    I hadn't seen your responses to my article that you have linked here, else I would have responded there, sooner.

    Anyway, airbags inflating during an accident are likely to cause injury to the driver as well as the passenger on the front seat. They open on impact and at high speed and will cause some injury no matter what the position of the hands holding the steering wheel. Airbags can cause injuries, especially fractures to the ribs.

    And as far as the study goes, it is specific for driving on the Highway, where you are less likely to actually steer the wheel. And the steering wheel can be adjusted, at least in my cars.

    "A love affair with knowledge will never end in heartbreak." -Michael Garrett Marino

  • #651419

    Despite of the study and conclusions of the scientists of IIT Madras, do you still think that there is not any relatively safer position to hold steering wheel?

    When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you may learn something new!

  • #651420
    @Gypsy I am tall and have as such no problem when I hold steering at 10:10 but as you said its most dangerous so I should be careful. I will try not to hold steering at 10:10.

    " It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not" ... Andre Gide

  • #651424
    [Response removed by Admin. Read forum policies.]
    No life without Sun

  • #651428
    Mr.Gypsy, driving is a psychomotor activity. I do not discount the findings of the IIT people, but I have evolved a comfortable position depending upon my height, car seat height over a period of time. My position at 08.10 is nearer to what the scientific studies found. While driving, I rest my right elbow on the door and hold the steering wheel. The left-hand elbow almost rests on my thigh at 08.10 positions. I am comfortable in this position. The position varies with person to person.
    " Be Good and Do Good "

  • #651449
    Mr. KVRR,
    Is it right to rest your right elbow over the door and drive? For this, you need to lean and sit close to the door and away at a different angle from the steering wheel. You may do it on the highway where there is no much traffic. But it should not be done during city driving in congested traffic. How can you do it in an air-conditioned vehicle? It is a bad practice. I have seen the taxi drivers doing it to load more and more passengers.

    No life without Sun

  • #651455

    When your right elbow is on the door, it is resting there, as a result your right arm does not get tired. Your left elbow is almost touching your thighs and the angle at the left elbow is closer to 90 degrees, so your left arm does not get tired. This is the case when the window on your right is open.

    Like Sun asked, what will be the position of your right arm/elbow when the right window is closed, like when you are using the AC of your car?

    When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you may learn something new!

  • #651456
    I have already mentioned that the traffic conditions also change the way we hold the steering wheel. I can rest my right elbow even when the glass door is closed which is always the case. According to my convenience, I rest my elbow on the door or the console which houses the power window buttons. I rest my left hand on the thigh. I am quite comfortable. I travel like this while driving on a highway. I am a sedate driver and travel around 60 to 70 KM speed. Mine is a Santro car and I am quite comfortable the way I hold the steering wheel and rest my elbow on the door or the console of power windows. With power steering there no difficulty at all maneuvering the car through the traffic. I am writing this just after coming back from the market. I have this thread in my mind and checked my position again.
    " Be Good and Do Good "

  • #651458
    You are right with your right elbow resting on the console. I wrote my response keeping my good old Padmini in my mind. After reading your last response, I practically sat and saw the feature in my Alto K10. I found it very convenient to rest our right elbow on the console. But it is not practicable to rest our left hand over our left thigh and hold the wheel at eight. You cannot touch the wheel and also rest your hand. Both cannot be done.

    No life without Sun

  • #651459
    Mr. Sun, I can do what I have stated. If you cannot do it, forget about it. I am 5' 5". The sitting posture depends on your height also. If one is short, he will sit a little closer to the steering wheel. Do not try to imitate my posture. It may prove dangerous for you. If you still have any doubt, get a Santro car, get hold of a person who is 5'5" and somewhat chubby and try and let me know.
    " Be Good and Do Good "

  • #651461
    We all have steered the thread well. I am of the opinion that 8.20 is for highway, 10.10 is for busy traffic in the city, and 9.15 is a choice. I do not want to go very deep into the subject to get into a santro or other vehicles. I can do it with my Padmini and Alto. I End.
    No life without Sun

  • #651469
    Everyone, I noticed today, I used 9:15 position. I was unsure yesterday, but I was telling the same to my instructor and he said the same what Sanjeev has been writing. He was informing about the airbags and told me, he would have corrected me initially.
    Iti Tyagi
    "Soar to Success"

  • #651479
    The airbag activates only if the impact of the hit is heavy from the front. In cities where we touch or kiss the vehicles for a scratch from the front or rear may not have that impact what could be in a highway accident at high speed. Therefore, the chances of airbag coming between the steering and the driver are very minimal. 10.10 or 09.15 is ideal for city driving at slow speed.

    No life without Sun

  • #651615

    People drive at high speed even in cities at night. So, even in cities it is not advisable to drive in 10:10 position. Secondly, while driving on a city road, one has to constantly shift gears, so it practically becomes difficult to control the steering just with the right hand at 10:10 position, unless the right hand is resting on the right window or its console. You may assume or choose whatever suits you.

    When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you may learn something new!

  • #651724
    The thread may be locked as and when deemed fit.
    When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you may learn something new!

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