Maplewood Health & Rehab Center of Sauk Prairie Encourages Safe Steering Wheel Hand Placement.
Maplewood partners with AARP and hosts 4 driving classes a year to help seniors lower their insurance and retain or become better drivers. There is no way your license will be revoked by taking these classes. Rather, the goal is to keep you driving longer.
September 11th from 8:00-noon, “CarFit” is offered. This event has you bring your car to Maplewood and adjustments are made to individualize the fit of your car to your body. It essentially makes it easier and more comfortable for you to see and drive.
November 11th from 8:00 – noon, a classroom instruction called Driver’s Safety is offered. It reviews driving changes such as steering wheel hand placement of “9 and 3” vs. “8 and 2” – which is what was taught prior to the late 80’s.
Progressive Insurance had a very helpful article about position grip on the steering wheel.
“Drive Safe Today Day” to highlight practical, sometimes counter-intuitive, safe driving strategies
In the deep recesses of my brain, I have just a few vague memories of taking driver’s ed back in the late 80s. Yet, certain things have always stuck with me—like the “10 o’clock and 2 o’clock” rule for hands on the steering wheel. I think that little gem and its helpful mnemonic are habitual for many of us.
But, as with many things in life, it’s a good idea to periodically reflect on what you’re doing, ask if there’s a better way, and commit to it. Times and technology do change, even if habits are hard to break.
Join us for Drive Safe Today Day
On September 3, Drive Safe Today Day will help us all break out of some of our bad driving habits. Together, we (Progressive and you … if you’re up to it) will pledge to drive a little safer. We’ll offer up some tips—easy things you can do to break out of some of the less-than-ideal driving habits that (let’s face it) we all have. And, we’ll work together to make driving a little safer … at least for a day.
Some of those habits will be obvious (like, put down the phone); others, less so.
And, that brings us to our first tip: “9 and 3” is the new “10 and 2.”
An engineering marvel
Most of us probably take airbags for granted, but it was only in 1998 that the federal government made them mandatory in passenger cars. According to a fact sheet published by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) in 2013, frontal airbags have saved an average of 2,336 lives annually between 2008 and 2012. They’re an engineering marvel that have made a real difference in safety on the road.
But, driving a car with a steering-wheel airbag does require updating an old-school habit. If you’re still using the “10 o’clock and 2 o’clock” position, it’s time to change.
Slide those hands down the wheel a bit
NHTSA now recommends moving the hands down the wheel to the “9 o’clock and 3 o’clock” position. Here’s why.
When your airbag is triggered, super-hot nitrogen gas fills the bag, forcing open the plastic cover on your steering wheel. The bag then expands toward you at 150-250 mph. The higher your hands are on the wheel, the more likely they are to be over that plastic cover—and the more likely they are to be injured when it blows open.
A driver otherwise protected by the airbag can suffer a broken nose or concussion caused by the hand being blasted into the face, finger or hand amputation, fracture, or a rather gruesome and very graphically-named injury called “de-gloving.”
9 and 3 strikes a reasonable balance between driving safety (hands in a good position to control the car), and injury avoidance if the airbag goes off (hands out of the way of the cover).
So, 9 and 3 it is.
(And, needless to say, one arm on the steering wheel & other leaning on an arm also referred to “Detroit Leaning” is out as well.)