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Where should you put your hands on the steering wheel?

Aug. 3, 2009

If you answered this question "10 and 2", you clearly haven't taken driver's ed in a while.

Over the past several years, the advice about the best place to put your hands on the steering wheel has changed. Instead of gripping the steering wheel at the 10 and 2 o'clock positions, beginning drivers are now taught to place their hands at 9 and 3 or 8 and 4.

Why the change? According to Tony Phillips, owner of KC's Driving School in Hartland, one of the reasons we were all taught 10 and 2 in the first place was that back in the day, cars didn't have power steering. Gripping the top of the steering wheel provided more leverage to turn it; that grip is no longer necessary now that power steering is standard in most vehicles.

In addition, Phillips said, researchers have found that drivers who hold their hands at 10 and 2 suffer more shoulder injuries in car accidents. Because the top of a steering wheel is tilted toward the windshield, if you hold the wheel at 10 and 2, your arms are held fairly straight out in front of you and your elbows will typically lock in a bracing-for-impact situation. However, holding the wheel in a lower position means that your elbows are bent and therefore won't lock.

Holding the wheel in a lower position can also keep your hands and arms out of the way of the airbag if it is deployed in an accident.

What do you want to know? E-mail your questions to iwanttoknow@wi. rr.com.

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Weekend Happenings

Featured this week:  

Spring Seedling Sale & Greenhouse Open House: 10 a.m. May 23, NuGenesis Farm, N68 W33208 County Road K, Oconomowoc. A variety of organic veggie and herb seedlings to plant in your home or community garden this spring will be for sale. All plant sale profits will benefit the Giving Garden initiative.

Memorial Honor Celebration: 8 a.m. May 23, Wisconsin Harley-Davidson, 1280 Blue Ribbon Drive, Oconomowoc. Daylong event begins with reveille and breakfast at 8 a.m. followed by color guard and the national anthem. The event also includes military and veterans organizations, interactive displays and vehicles, food and beverages and entertainment. Evening showing of “Honor Flight: One Last Mission.” on a big, outdoor screen.

"Small Space Container Gardens" Seminar: 11 a.m. May 23, Ebert’s Greenhouse Village, W1795 Fox Road, Ixonia. Free educational seminar by gardening expert Melinda Myers. Melinda, who will also be available to answer gardening questions. Enter to win a $500 Ebert’s shopping spree with Melinda.

Tyke Hike: 10 a.m. May 23, Lapham Peak State Park, W329 N846, Delafield. Children and their families will hike with a guide and a representative of the Delafield Library will share books, songs and a craft to enhance the experience. Meet at the Lapham Peak Tower. State park sticker is required.

Updates to this calendar are made weekly Monday afternoon. 

 

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