Driving a car is an important skill that requires precision, attention, and focus. As a new driver, it’s essential to learn proper steering techniques to ensure safe and efficient operation of your vehicle. One of the most effective steering methods is the push/pull technique, which offers several benefits over other steering methods, including hand-over-hand steering.
What is Push/Pull Steering?
Push/pull steering is a steering method that involves using both hands on opposite sides of the steering wheel. As the name suggests, one hand pushes the steering wheel up, while the other hand pulls it down. The driver alternates between pushing and pulling the wheel to achieve precise turns and control over the vehicle’s movements.
Why Use Push/Pull Steering?
Push/pull steering offers several advantages over other steering methods:
- Greater Control: Push/pull steering allows drivers to maintain greater control over their vehicle, especially in emergency situations. This method enables drivers to make precise and quick movements, helping them avoid obstacles and hazards on the road.
- Reduced Strain: Push/pull steering puts less strain on the driver’s arms and hands than other steering techniques. This reduces fatigue and discomfort, allowing for longer periods of comfortable driving. It also minimizes the risk of repetitive strain injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome.
- More Efficient: The push/pull steering method is more efficient than other steering techniques, allowing drivers to make smoother and more precise movements. This helps improve the vehicle’s handling and responsiveness, making it easier to navigate through traffic and maintain control in challenging driving conditions.
- Better Hand Positioning: Push/pull steering keeps the driver’s hands in a safe and effective position, reducing the risk of injury in case of an accident. This method ensures that the driver’s hands are positioned at opposite sides of the steering wheel, which reduces the risk of getting tangled up in the wheel and prevents injuries from airbag deployment.
How to Use Push/Pull Steering
To use push/pull steering, follow these steps:
- Position your hands on opposite sides of the steering wheel, placing them at the 9 o’clock and 3 o’clock positions.
- Push and pull the wheel alternately using your left and right hands. For example, if you want to turn left, pull down with your left hand and push up with your right hand.
- Use smooth, controlled movements to steer the vehicle. Avoid jerking the wheel or making sudden movements, which can cause the vehicle to become unstable.
- Practice regularly to become more comfortable and proficient with this steering method.
Why Not Use Hand-Over-Hand Steering?
Hand-over-hand steering is a method that involves placing one hand over the other and pulling the wheel down while moving the lower hand up and around to the other side of the wheel. Although this method may seem intuitive, it has several drawbacks:
- Increased Risk of Tangling: With hand-over-hand steering, there is a greater risk of getting your hands tangled in the steering wheel. This can cause confusion and loss of control, making it a dangerous method, especially in emergency situations.
- Airbag Risk: If your vehicle has airbags, hand-over-hand steering can result in serious injury if the airbag deploys and your hands are in the wrong position. This risk can be reduced by using push/pull steering, which keeps your hands on opposite sides of the wheel and out of harm’s way.
- Less Efficient: Hand-over-hand steering is less efficient than push/pull steering because it requires more hand movements to achieve the same results. This can make it harder to maintain control of the vehicle in challenging driving conditions.
- More Strain: Hand-over-hand steering puts more strain on the driver’s arms and hands, making it more fatiguing over time. This can cause discomfort and increase the risk of repetitive strain injuries.
As you can see, push/pull steering is a safer, more efficient, and effective method of steering than hand-over-hand steering.
By following the steps outlined above, you can easily master the push/pull steering technique and enjoy its benefits. Remember to always prioritize safety when driving, and never compromise on proper steering techniques. It’s also a good idea to practice steering in a safe and controlled environment, such as an empty parking lot, before attempting it on the open road.
In addition to proper steering techniques, it’s important to maintain your vehicle’s steering system to ensure optimal performance. Regular maintenance, such as checking the alignment, tire pressure, and fluid levels, can help prevent steering issues and keep you safe on the road.
Overall, the push/pull steering technique is a valuable skill for any driver to learn. Its benefits, including greater control, reduced strain, and more efficient movements, make it a preferable method to hand-over-hand steering. By mastering this technique, you can become a safer and more confident driver, and enjoy a more comfortable and enjoyable driving experience.
Liam Hoch researches and writes about safe driving for DriverZ.
Having been a passenger in multiple near-catastrophic vehicle collisions, Liam knows first-hand the dangers of distracted, reckless, and unsafe driving.
Passionate about our core principles of helping to make safer drivers and, ultimately, saving lives, Liam stays at the forefront of driving safety innovation and research.