‘9 and 3’ has replaced the ‘10 and 2’ steering wheel rule

January 31, 2022 by PEMCO Insurance

If you learned to drive before airbags became standard equipment, chances are you were taught to hold the wheel in the “10 and 2” position. Guidelines from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, however, now suggest that your hands be at “9 and 3” to reduce the risk of injury to your hands and arms if airbags deploy.  As this image shows, drivers also should place their thumbs on the top rather than wrapping them around the wheel.  
The new hand and thumb positions reduce the chance that drivers will suffer broken wrists, thumbs, and even broken noses or concussions when their hands fly back from the force of the airbag when it deploys during a crash.  

Another important airbag-related hand and arm safety tip?  Avoid using a hand-over-hand technique when turning, except in low-speed situations like parking. Instead, push with one hand and pull with the other. That keeps your arms from crossing so they stay safely clear of the airbag. 

To further improve steering safety and effectiveness, you will also want to break common steering habits like driving one-handed, using mostly your palms and/or an underhand grip while turning.  


Want more tips like these? Click BLOG above or search “safe driving tips.” 


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