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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:  

ArtWorks: Studio Clearance: 10 a.m. Jan. 24, Waukesha County Expo Center, 1000 Northview Road, Waukesha. Artists clean out their studios, reduce the price and blow out their inventory. Admission is $5 or free with two canned food items for the Food Pantry of Waukesha. www.artworkswisconsin.com

Bill Camplin: 4 p.m. Jan. 25, Hawks Inn Visitor Center, 426 Wells St., Delafield.  Winter Concert Series presented by SummerStage and the Delafield Public Library. $10. Wine, beer and soda available for purchase. Call (262) 337-1560, www.summerstageofdelafield.org

"The Dastardly Ficus": 7:30 p.m. Jan. 23-24; 2 p.m. Jan. 25, Lake Country Playhouse, 221 E. Capitol Drive, Hartland. ’The Dastardly Ficus and Other Comedic Tales of Woe and Misery’ is a trip down Insanity Lane with a tale of two sisters, neither of whom is playing with a full deck.  Tickets are available at www.lakecountryplayhouse.net. $15 general seating, $18 reserved seating in first two rows. www.lakecountryplayhouse.net. 

Scat, Tracks, and Signs: 10 a.m. Jan. 24, Vernon Marsh Wildlife Area, , Mukwonago. Learn to distinguish mammal tracks and other wildlife signs, and then go on a hike to find and identify these tracks. Dress for the weather. Free .www.dnr.wi.gov.

Updates to this calendar are made weekly Monday afternoon. 

 

All weekend happenings.