It’s common knowledge to hold the steering wheel at the 10 o’clock and 2 o’clock positions. It’s said this gives you better control and enables you to make hand-over-hand turning maneuvers. But is it possible that holding the steering wheel in the ‘traditional’ way could cause much more serious injuries in a crash?
When you hold the wheel at “10 and 2,” there’s a tendency to lock your elbows. You can try this yourself. Put your arms out at the “10 and 2” position and imagine an airbag deploying. If your elbows are locked, your arms will cross over each other as they’re pushed toward you. In other cases, they might be pushed outward, increasing the risk of serious injury.
Studies agree; drivers who hold the wheel at “10 and 2” are more likely to experience hypertension, torn ligaments, and broken forearms, especially in crashes where the airbag deploys.
If “10 and 2” increases injuries, what is the safer way to hold the steering wheel? According to the most recent safety guidelines from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), holding the wheel at the “9 and 3” position (right at the center) significantly decreases the risk of the aforementioned injuries.
You can see why by trying it for yourself. Raise your arms again and place them at the middle of the wheel. Now imagine the airbag deploys again. Instead of crossing or being pushed outward, your arms will fold toward your chest, pinning your elbows to your side. This reduces your profile and can protect you from injury.
While it may take a while to get used to, if you consistently practice driving in this manner, you can reduce the risk of serious and long-lasting injuries if you ever find yourself in a crash.
If you or someone you love were seriously injured in a crash, we can fight for you. If you’d like an experienced Connecticut accident attorney from RisCassi & Davis, P.C. to evaluate your case, don’t hesitate to call us at (860) 245-2412 or send us an email!