SETTING UP THE STEERING WHEEL
The steering wheel should be set up so that, when holding it on either side:
- You should have a slight bend of your elbows
- You can see out of the windscreen clearly
- You can see the cars dials clearly
HOLDING THE STEERING WHEEL
You should hold the steering wheel with both hands, and so that you have good control of the steering at all times.
When you first start to drive, this may be in the *10 to 2, or the ¼ to 3 position (see below).
More importantly, it must be in a position that you feel comfortable and able to control the wheel effectively.
You will need to take one hand off the steering wheel occasionally, to change gear or use other controls. You must choose a safe place / time to take a hand off the steering wheel, not when turning into a new road for example.
Holding the steering wheel too loosely can cause the wheel to slip through your fingers and to lose control if you hit an obstacle in the road, like a twig, pot hole, dip etc.
Holding the steering wheel too tightly can cause your hands to ache and makes it difficult to smoothly control the steering.
So, how much grip do you need? Imagine you are holding an egg! Holding it too tightly will crush the egg. Hold it too loosely and you will drop the egg!
*What does 10 to 2 mean?
Imagine the steering wheel as a clock face
Place your left hand where the number 10 would be on a clock face
Place your left hand where the number 2 would be on a clock face
HOW TO STEER ACCURATELY
An important rule about steering is that you Steer with your Eyes!
Look well ahead, at where you want the car to go.
Doing this will tell your brain what to do with your hands.
“Look at what you want to hit!”
HOW TO STEER
There are three methods of steering:
- Fixed Steering
- Pull Push Steering
- Cross Over Steering
Please watch the video for demonstrations on these different steering methods.
This method is best used when only a small amount of steering is needed, for example, when driving on a straight-ish road
Pull Push Steering
This method is best used when lots of steering is needed, for example when turning into a new road.
Cross Over Steering
This method is best used when lots of steering is needed very quickly, and when manoeuvring the car very slowly, for example when performing a turn in the road.
WHERE TO POSITION THE CAR
While driving along you should generally position the car 1 metre from the kerb or, if you are in a narrow road, in the centre of the lane.
To help with positioning you can:
- Look at the position of the car ahead, if they are in good road position.
- Look down the centre of the lane, as if you are running down the centre of the lane. This will keep the car in the centre of the lane
When passing obstacles like parked vehicles, you need to be positioned 1 metre away from them. If you can’t leave a metre then pass slower. The closer you pass, the slower you go.
When passing a cyclist, you must leave a 2 metre gap. They are vulnerable and may need to steer away from an obstacle in the road, or wobble in front of you.
STEERING WITH ONE HAND
When you can steer a straight course with both hands, try steering with only one hand.
The reason for practicing with one hand IS NOT so that you can drive like that.
It’s because there are times when you’ll only have one hand free for steering, like when changing gear or putting the window down.
- Select a safe place to try
- Look well ahead
- Stiffen one arm slightly, and slightly tighten your grip
- Take the other hand and place it on your lap
- Take your time to smoothly replace your hand on the wheel
- Practice with both hands
Replace both hands on the wheel if necessary