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Topic 11 Steering position and how to handle the steering wheel

Today's topic is about steering position and how to handle the steering wheel:

 

While many drivers and road users may find it natural to turn a steering wheel, the skill of navigating curves is more specific, and as well dependent on the vehicle's weight and the environment that surrounds you.

It is crucial to apply the right technique.


Turning onto a curve involves more than just rotating the wheel; it necessitates a careful combination of expertise, timing, and comprehension of your vehicle's dynamics.


Some basics ahead:


Understanding the fundamentals of vehicle dynamics is necessary before heading to the process of turning on a curve. 

When the steering wheel is turned, the weight of the vehicle shifts, impacting your center of gravity and how forces act on the tires. 

This redistribution becomes especially important when maneuvering curves(depending on the speed average, though), as it directly affects the grip and stability of the vehicle on the road.




Basically to achieve both comfort and control, hold the steering wheel with both your hand, left hand at the 9 o'clock position and your right hand at the 3 o'clock position.


Some steering wheels may have small projections or little nubs for resting your thumbs.

Remember to position your thumbs on the outside of the steering wheel rather than on the inside.



(Effective position to maintain balance between left and right)



(Our logo features the correct hands position)


This will enable us to turn the wheel smoothly, applying the necessary force without exerting too much.

By maintaining a relaxed position of your shoulders, and ensuring that your hands and arms are kept at a safe distance, this helps to minimize any potential harm caused by the airbag if it were to deploy.


When steering the wheel and performing turns or other maneuvers, it is important to avoid crossing your arms and hands (for example, placing the right hand on the left side or vice versa), once more this is to avoid any potential harm caused by the airbag to be deployed in case of accident.

(Correct maneuvering)



(Wrong maneuvering-cross steering)




Avoid keeping your hands on the steering wheel positioned above the 10 and 10 positions for long periods of time to prevent the onset of tendinitis and other shoulder pain.



Remember to keep your grip on the steering wheel relaxed, with just enough pressure to maintain good control; this reduces neck and shoulder tension.


This comes together with having the best adjusted seat position(depending on the vehicle's features), which we already explained in a previous article below.



Sometimes we come across a particular attitude with our students, which is when many drivers frequently keep one hand on the gear lever, especially when doing a reverse!!

Actually, the only instance when you will have one hand on the steering wheel is when you are shifting gears and moving it onto the lever.

However, this action should be done swiftly!! Never ever rest your hand on the gear lever!




When approaching a curve, and you need to change the direction of your vehicle by using the steering wheel, It is crucial to use your eyes to evaluate and control the situation, ensuring that your muscles respond accordingly. 


It is essential to maintain continuous visual focus on the path you intend to head throughout the maneuver(IPSGA).


Anticipating a curve is essential. By looking ahead and evaluating the curve's shape and intensity, you can prepare in advance for steering adjustments. 

This proactive approach prevents sudden corrections and encourages smoother and controlled turns.

When you want to steer in a specific direction, your brain controls the movement(information transmitted from your eyes) and choose the hand (left or right) that corresponds to the side of the curve you aim to go towards. 

The Pull and Push technique:

Hold and rotate the steering wheel towards the curve by pulling it onto that curve, while simultaneously using your other hand to push and support the steering wheel, enhancing the maneuver. 

This technique provides precise control and minimizes the risk of oversteering or understeering.


We call this technique "pull and push"


Pull toward the curve and push to accompany and support the steering maneuver.




If you want to carry out our #RoadSafety #Defensive #DriverTraining program throughout your organization, don't hesitate to reach out to us:



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