Why “10 and 2” Is No Longer The Best Way to Drive

Old-school driving advice said to always hold your hands at “10 and 2.” In other words, if your steering wheel were a clock, your left hand would be at 10 o’clock and your right hand would be at 2 o’clock.

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“9 and 3” is the new 10 and 2

Nowadays, however, things are different.

Forget 10 and 2! 

Thanks to changes in car technology, as well as realizations about airbags and the need for faster  reactions on the road, experts now call for a lower hand position.

Unfortunately, many teens are still being taught the incorrect 10 and 2 hand position.


Most experts agree that it’s best to hold the wheel at 9 o’clock and 3 o’clock — for ALL drivers, not just
teenage drivers.
Why are the recommendations different now?

Here are three reasons why the change is so important:

  1. The Impact of Airbags: If you’re involved in a crash and the airbags go off, most experts say you may be safer with your hands at 9 and 3 than if you’d held them at 10 and 2 . Bottom line: keeping your hands at 10 and 2 can get you 2 broken arms if your airbag deploys. so go a little lower than 10 and 2 in order to protect yourself.
  2. Easier Turning: Holding your hands at 9 and 3 also makes it easier for you to turn the car without taking your hands off the wheel. This may give you better control on the roads, as well as the ability to make faster reactions to changing road conditions and hazards.
  3. Modern Cars and Power Steering: In the early days of automobiles, cars didn’t have power steering, so holding the wheel higher made sense. “Turning the wheel required more force then,” according to Alex Davies at Business Insider, “and pulling down on it was the easiest way to do it.” But now, so many new cars have power steering on them and the original recommendation no longer applies.

Because of how this hand positioning avoids potential injury from airbags, gives greater convenience for turning and makes more sense for cars with power steering, holding a steering wheel at 9 and 3 has become the accepted norm today. When you’re hitting the road, keep this in mind — and keep your hands safely and comfortably where they should be.

Special Thanks to our Guest Blogger, Kimberly Quinones,  for contributing this great content!

Author Bio

Kimberly Quinones has served as Vice President of Sales at Illinois Vehicle auto insurance for nearly 10 years.  Kimberly is deeply focused on the issue of driver safety and oversees all aspects of sales, service and customer retention programs for the organization.

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