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How Do You Hold The Steering Wheel?

Updated on April 26, 2012
Old School Driver
Old School Driver

State Farm Insurance suggests that we assume the 3 o'clock, 9 o'clock hand position when driving our motor vehicles. This gives the driver the proper 'ready' stance while allowing space between the arms should the airbag decide to deploy. Despite the good advice and sound concern for safety, how many of you continue to adhere to those practices? I have seen many different driving styles that do the trick and seem to get everyone to their intended destinations safety. I won't debate the best or worst way of gripping the steering wheel, I simply wish to list the many ways You Hold The Steering Wheel.

At the end be sure to let everyone know how you grip the steering wheel by taking the survey. Also if there are any positions I left out be sure to let me know in the comments.

Old School

Back before airbags we were taught that the proper way of gripping the steering wheel was in the 2-10 o'clock position. You were then expected to cross hand over hand when making turns. This is a concern today because air bags can deploy when the hands are crossed over each other causing serious arm and face injury. For some older drivers this is just the way it was and is a hard habit to kick.

How many of you still prefer the Old School steering wheel position?


New School

The new school of thought is that drivers assume the more airbag safe 3-9 o'clock hand position. In newer vehicles there are hand rests that make this position more comfortable for drivers. Despite being safer I have to admite that for long drives this position can be a little straining.

How many of you prefer to use the New School steering wheel position?

Armrest Anchor

The Armrest Anchor is when you comfortably place your right-arm on the armrest and grip the steering wheel underhanded or overhanded at the 5 o'clock position. The left-hand can either be free to rest on the open window or used to hold a phone to your ear (not suggested - in fact highly discouraged).

How many of you use the Armrest Anchor steering wheel position?


The Prowler is when the right-hand is placed at 12 o'clock. This is an aggressive stance that is unsafe because of the airbag but also because it seems as if you are trying to physically 'push' the car forward. This manifests in having a heavy foot and need for speed adrenaline rush.

How many of you are guilty of the Prowler steering wheel position?


The Drive-by is when you place your left-hand at 11 or 12 o'clock. Almost the opposite of the Prowler, the Drive-by is named because it gives the driver the option to have a readied 'piece' in his right-hand. It is also popular because it allows the driver freedom to play with the radio, iPod, phone, etc... (not a good idea when driving). This tends to be my favorite driving stance, though I tend to grip the steering wheel at 5 o'clock with my right-hand. Not a good position if the airbag ever goes off.

How many handle their cars in a Drive-by steering wheel position?

Lazy Harry

The Lazy Harry is when both arms are comfortably to your sides and the hands are on the steering wheel in the 7-5 o'clock position. Perhaps the most relaxed position of driving techniques, the Lazy Harry seems to be popular because it placed both hands on the wheel while still being relaxed and comfortable.

How many use the Lazy Harry steering wheel position?

How Do You Hold The Steering Wheel?

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    • profile image

      frank 5 years ago

      what about 4 and 8 o'clock hand positions?

      i would vote for that one.

      This seems comfortable to me and this resource says it also is acceptable:


    • CarNoobz profile image

      CarNoobz 5 years ago from USA

      I've recently heard that they're teaching 4 & 8 even...that's pretty comfortable, but I feel like I'm cheating =)

    • profile image

      adumpaul 5 years ago

      Really nice article.Holding the steering wheel gives the driver the proper 'ready' stance while allowing space between the arms should the airbag decide to deploy.Thanks for sharing.

    • Florida Safety profile image

      Florida Safety 5 years ago from Orlando

      Great educational Hub. Thanks for sharing it. For an excellent Driving or Traffic Ticket school in Florida check out

      They offer great training and education for those of you that need Driving lessons or for any Traffic Ticket School related classes.