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Old 23rd October 2014, 13:18   #16
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Default re: 10-2 steering position? Nope, it's 9-3 for Airbag-equipped cars

Unless I am driving super fast, I generally hold the steering with one hand at the 9 O clock position and the other is on the arm rest. When fast, I do tend to use the 10-2 position which I inculcated in my M800, but for long highway drives, I find 8-4 position more comfortable.
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Old 23rd October 2014, 15:01   #17
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Default re: 10-2 steering position? Nope, it's 9-3 for Airbag-equipped cars

I usually have my left hand on the gear knob and the right one at between 4 and 5. The Nano steers so effortlessly that I usually rest my hand on my lap. When I do use the left hand it occupies a similar position. So both hands are supported.
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Old 23rd October 2014, 15:08   #18
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Mine is always 9:4 or 9:5. It is not based on any particular rule but something that I have subconsciously got accustomed to. I think the 4 spoke steering would have aided me further to get adjusted to this position.
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Old 23rd October 2014, 15:23   #19
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Default re: 10-2 steering position? Nope, it's 9-3 for Airbag-equipped cars

I have always held the steering at 9 and 3 positions except when driving a go-kart.
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Old 23rd October 2014, 15:42   #20
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Default re: 10-2 steering position? Nope, it's 9-3 for Airbag-equipped cars

If the 10 minutes to 2 position were unsafe due to interference with Airbag deployment, there would likely be a warning or message in the owner's manuals of cars equipped with airbags. Especially ones that are globally available. Also the grip contours on steering wheels that do have them are predominantly at the 10:2 position.

The idea originally (as I have it from old-time drivers) was that this position gave one the most leverage and range of motion with both hands staying on the steering wheel. This remains true for cars without power steering, and is falling out of favour due to the strain on the shoulders from holding ones' arms up for long periods, and power steering. Also reflects on how technology has made us lazier

A quick Google returns completely opposing views expressed by various "experts", therefore I think it has now become a matter of choice. My personal opinion is that the lower steering positions (8:4, for example) tend to be lazy and indicative of inattentiveness on the part of the driver. This is most likely from years of hearing that the higher 10:2 position is the best
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Old 23rd October 2014, 16:09   #21
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Default re: 10-2 steering position? Nope, it's 9-3 for Airbag-equipped cars

A friend and I took driving classes at a driving school in Bangalore back in 1995. I was learning to drive on a Maruti Omni and my friend on an Ambassador.

I remember my instructor asking me to use the 9:3 position to hold the steering wheel and the other guy told my friend to use the 10:2 position.

At that time neither of us knew much about the reasoning for this but we assumed that the older, larger Amby steering wheel suited 10:2.

I also took a few classes in the US before I went for the driving test. Here, the instructor told me the 9:3 Or 10:2 positions can be used. I've always felt comfortable with 9:3 and have used it forever
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Old 23rd October 2014, 16:13   #22
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Default re: 10-2 steering position? Nope, it's 9-3 for Airbag-equipped cars

I always drive in the city with right hand at 3 and left hand on the gear lever. In Highways I use 9-3 or 8-4. My car is Punto and its sculpted steering naturally discourages to hold it above 9-3.
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Old 23rd October 2014, 17:22   #23
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Default re: 10-2 steering position? Nope, it's 9-3 for Airbag-equipped cars

My favorite position during long drives is 1 o clock with my right hand or 11 o clock with my left hand . When little tired, will go to 5 o clock in right hand or 7 o clock with left hand (cruise control mode when nobody around).

When in overtaking or when people around, generally go for 10-2 or 8-4.

But looks like i will have to change my style of driving if I am driving a car with airbags
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Old 24th October 2014, 11:33   #24
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Default re: 10-2 steering position? Nope, it's 9-3 for Airbag-equipped cars

When I was learning driving, my father always taught me to hold the steering wheel with both hands whenever possible. At that time we owned a Premier Padmini which had the gear change lever behind the steering wheel - so the left had shift between the steering wheel & gear lever was short & quick.

With the advent of the floor shift, the tendency for the left hand to remain on the gear knob was much more as the position was more comfortable & specially in the city with frequent gear changes.

The automatics have made it easier to follow the instructions of holding the steering with both hands. In addition, power steering has made turning cars easier & having one hand on the steering seems adequate for city driving (at low speeds). For highway driving I would still recommend driving with both hands on the steering wheel
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Old 24th October 2014, 11:38   #25
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Default re: 10-2 steering position? Nope, it's 9-3 for Airbag-equipped cars

An interesting range of discussions that this thread seems to have thrown up, based on the OP's discovery of aches in his upper arm and triceps while driving with the steering held religiously at the 10-2 position.

Allow me to put forward some points and thoughts:

1. 10-2, 9-3 and 8-4 are all valid positions to hold the steering wheel. Each has its advantages and disadvantages, but 9-3 has the least disadvantages as compared to the other positions, and therefore wins by a comfortable margin.

2. We started off by holding the steering wheel in the 10-2 position, till the '70s or so. The steering wheel was large diameter to provide mechanical advantage in a non-PS system controlling a heavy car, and trying to hold it in the 9-3 position meant a certain amount of discomfort because the arms were splayed beyond shoulder width. We were also sitting pretty close to the steering, usually with our chest 6"-8" away from the central boss of the wheel - this allowed the torso muscles to come into action to help turn the wheel too.

3. We were also taught to 'feed' the steering wheel from one grip to another while making a turn, releasing the grip on one hand and letting the wheel slide through, reestablishing grip while the other palm was released to slide back to its original position. This was due to the fact that the number of turns required to turn the wheels was large - usually >4 turns from lock to lock. Crossing the arms while turning the steering wheel was a strict no-no.

4. With the advent of power steering, the wheel became smaller in diameter, and lighter to turn. We did not need to sit so close to the wheel (muscle power requirement being minimised with power steering) - but many cabbies still sit up close to the steering due to antiquated training received from old-timers. Also, the 9-3 position became a more natural one because at 10-2 the arms were closer together and caused discomfort while sitting back from the steering wheel.

5. The number of steering wheel turns from lock to lock reduced in new generation cars, to around 2-3 turns. Most range of vehicular movements could be controlled with a maximum of 3/4th turn of the steering in either direction - hence, no more need to slide/'feed' the steering through from palm to palm. The general rule now is to maintain one palm grip all the way through turning the steering through 270 degrees. The left hand is used to steer to the right, and right hand to turn the front wheels left. The 9-3 position (as well as the 8-4 position) allow this, but not the 10-2 position.

6. 10-2 made us sit close to the steering wheel to maintain a comfortable position. Repeated crash tests showed that with airbag-equipped cars, a minimum distance of 10" was required to allow the exploding airbag to deploy fully before the head strikes it. Too close, and the head/chest would be struck by the exploding (rapidly expanding) airbag, causing injury and even death. This, plus the likelihood of injury to forearms being in the way of an exploding airbag, made 10-2 an undesirable position to hold the wheel (though injury to arms is of much lesser concern than injury to head/chest). In a non-airbag-equipped car, 10-2 may be acceptable, except for point #5.

7. 8-4 upends the palms, causing stress to the wrists while maintaining the posture for prolonged periods. By all means, maintain 8-4 if you must for short periods - but over a longer period, some wrist pain can be expected. 9-3 keeps the wrists in a more natural & unstressed position, so less chances of skeletal pain after a long session of driving.

8. 9-3 also allows the steering mounted control stalks to remain within easy reach of the fingers. If you inspect a car from the '70s or '80s, you'll find many of them had the control stalks angled further upwards to allow easy access when holding the wheel at 10-2. Today's cars have the stalks angled to allow easy access when holding the wheel at 9-3.

9. For those who love to drape their left hand over the gear knob and think the position 'looks cool', allow me to remind you of the first rule of being in the driver's seat - both hands on wheel, both eyes on road. Moving the left hand for a second to shift gears is all that is ideally allowed (for your own safety, please park the car to address that inexorable itch in the nether regions ). You don't drape your left leg over the clutch pedal when not using it, so why should you give similar treatment to the gear lever?

10. Those interesting combinations like 9-5, 12-6 and whatever else - please refrain from using them for your own safety.

Last edited by SS-Traveller : 24th October 2014 at 11:40.
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Old 24th October 2014, 14:08   #26
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Default re: 10-2 steering position? Nope, it's 9-3 for Airbag-equipped cars

2 cars I drive have the grip on the leather wrapped steering grooved in such a way that you would naturally hold it in 9-3 position. Just saw from this thread that this is the recommended position. May be that's why most of today's cars have the grooving in that position. This position also makes it easy to use the MFSW controls as well as light/wiper stalks. With proper grooving, it feels very comfortable and gripping to hold the wheel too.
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Old 24th October 2014, 14:17   #27
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Default re: 10-2 steering position? Nope, it's 9-3 for Airbag-equipped cars

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajaypjayaraj View Post
2 cars I drive have the grip on the leather wrapped steering grooved in such a way that you would naturally hold it in 9-3 position. Just saw from this thread that this is the recommended position. May be that's why most of today's cars have the grooving in that position.
Yes - there are also those elevations on the inside surface, which are thumb rests. Try positioning your hands in such a way that the thumbs are positioned over them, and you'll find it a whole lot more comfortable to grip the wheel.
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Old 24th October 2014, 15:14   #28
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Default Re: 10-2 steering position? Nope, it's 9-3 for Airbag-equipped cars

Quote:
Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
Yes - there are also those elevations on the inside surface, which are thumb rests. Try positioning your hands in such a way that the thumbs are positioned over them, and you'll find it a whole lot more comfortable to grip the wheel.
That's what I meant actually. When you drive cars with this grooving, you naturally place your thumbs in that grooving and your grip is 9-3. That's the comfortable position I meant. Same as what you suggested. Just posting pics of the wheels I mentioned. Not from my cars, but same ones picked up from google images.

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Old 24th October 2014, 18:17   #29
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Default Re: 10-2 steering position? Nope, it's 9-3 for Airbag-equipped cars

Eeks..I googled images for 'degloving' inspite of the article advising against it.

I generally use gearlever-3 in city and 8-3 on highways. No airbags.

Last edited by GTO : 25th October 2014 at 16:53. Reason: Typos
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Old 24th October 2014, 19:08   #30
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Default Re: 10-2 steering position? Nope, it's 9-3 for Airbag-equipped cars

Hi all,

Here are some right and wrong methods of holding the wheel.

Source is http://drivinginstructorblog.com/q-w...ing-the-wheel/

Hooking

10-2 steering position? Nope, it's 9-3 for Airbag-equipped cars-hookingwheel1.jpg

Palming
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12 and stick
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The 9 & 3's
10-2 steering position? Nope, it's 9-3 for Airbag-equipped cars-mazda_9_3.jpg

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And finally the 10 & 2
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Also here is a video by AAA Manager of Driver Training Operations William Van Tassel, PhD on how to correctly hold the wheel.

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