AARP Driving Resource Center

Steering Wheel Hand Position — What You Need to Know

The old rules may no longer apply

To maintain maximum control of the vehicle, drivers should always have two hands firmly on the steering wheel.

See also: Four Steps to Back Up Your Vehicle Safely

Drivers should never use one hand or use the steering wheel hub to grip the wheel.

Some drivers may remember being taught the 10 o’clock and 2 o’clock hand position as the only correct position, but research indicates that a safe position for the driver’s hands on the steering wheel can vary. The position of a driver’s hands on the steering wheel may depend on steering wheel design, seat height and body type.

In the event of a crash, you may be less likely to be injured by an inflating airbag if your hands are lower on the steering wheel. One example of a safe hand position is one hand at 9 o’clock and one at 3 o’clock. Some drivers may even prefer a slightly lower hand position, closer to 8 o’clock and 4 o’clock.

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