Erase what you learned in drivers ed. 10 and 2 is no longer the correct position for drivers’ hands on the steering wheel. Air bags have changed all that! Safety experts now recommend that drivers place their hands at 9 and 3 or 8 and 4 o’clock on the wheel.
In a crash, air bags expand at more than 100 miles an hour. While they may prevent a driver’s head and chest from hitting the windshield, arms held high on the steering wheel can result in serious injuries to hands or fingers if an air bag deploys.
Other air bag tips
- Don’t cross your hands or place them on the steering wheel hub while driving.
- Avoid hand over hand maneuvers while turning
- Keep two hands on the wheel at all times
- Sit at least 10 inches away from the steering wheel or dashboard
- If pregnant, place the lap belt low on your abdomen and tilt the steering wheel toward your chest
- Never install a rear-facing child safety seat in the front seat of a car with air bags
- Have children 12 or under ride in the rear seat
SOURCES: San Jose Mercury News, by Gary Richards; State Farm Insurance; AAA