Driver on forest highway with hands at 10 and 2

Common driving advice is that you should keep your hands at the 10 o’clock and 2 o’clock positions on the steering wheel. This technique is supposed to give you maximum control of the steering wheel so you’re able to make hand-over-hand turning maneuvers. But is it possible that driving at “10 and 2” could be an outdated concept at best and dangerous at worst?

A Hidden Danger

Try putting your arms in front of you in the “10 and 2” position. Notice how they’re extended and how your elbows may have locked. Now try to bend your elbows toward your body. There’s a good chance your arms either crossed in an X or your hands tapped together. That’s where the problem lies.

If your hands are at the “10 and 2” position when the airbag deploys, you’ll likely experience significantly more severe injuries in a crash. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), drivers who had their elbows locked in the “10 and 2” position during a crash often had their arms pushed away by the airbag. These drivers were much more likely to experience torn ligaments, broken arms, or even dismemberment compared to those who drove in the preferred “9 and 3” position.

A New Technique

These days, most safety organizations advise drivers hold the steering wheel at “9 and 3,” and it’s easy to see why. Put your hands up again, but this time as though your hands are at the middle of the steering wheel.

In most cases, this position will not cause your elbows to lock, which reduces the likelihood of injury. At the same time, this position makes it easier to bring your hands back toward your body. If the airbag were to inflate, your arms would fold toward your body, rather than be forced outward. It may seem like a small difference, but it’s one that might just prevent a severe or even catastrophic injury.

If you or someone you love suffered severe injuries in a car crash, you need a firm that can offer the personal attention you deserve! If you’d like to schedule a free case consultation with an experienced New Hampshire car accident attorney from Upton & Hatfield, LLP, don’t hesitate to call (603) 716-9777 or send us an email.

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