What is hand over hand steering?

Updated Jan 11, 2021 | Same topic: Let's Drive Smart!

It’s a steering technique that helps you make turns safer.

I. What is hand over hand steering?

There are numerous techniques drivers all around the world use in the event of a left- or right- hand turn. Some steering techniques are reckless which can lead to unwanted accidents not only for the driver but also for the other motorist.

Most accidents happen during a turn or switching a lane so a good technique when steering is highly important.

How To Do Hand Over Hand Steering

Person holding a steering wheel with one hand

Using two hands while driving is safer as compared to just using one

For many driving instructors, they would recommend you to practice the hand over hand steering. This type of steering technique is a common practice used by many drivers and is considered as one of the safest as compared to others.

The reason why many driving instructors recommend using the hand over hand steering is because this steering technique uses two hands for every turn. Using two hands in contrast to just using one provides a more stable and versatile way of turning your car.

No hand driving

With recent innovations, some vehicles allow autonomous driving

Of note, the hand over hand steering is one of the most recommended steering techniques due to its safety. With that being said, we have listed down the steps on how to do the hand over hand steering technique.

II. How to do the hand over hand steering?

There are two ways you can do the hand over hand steering. The first one is by driving with the 10 o’clock and 2 o’clock position. If you don't know what the 10 and 2 steering position is, it is one way for drivers to hold their steering wheel.

Think of the steering wheel as a clock, the top-most center represents 12 while the bottom-most side represents 6.

Man turning with one hand

Always give way when turning as most accidents happen doing this

10 and 2 position means that your left hand is placed at the 10 o’clock position, while your right hand is placed at the 2 o’clock position. Although most driving instructors recommend the 10 and 2 position, it is generally unsafe.

The position of your hands can slam onto your face in the event of an airbag deployment.

The other way to do the hand over hand steering is by utilizing the 9 and 3 position. This means that your hand is placed on both ends of the sides of your steering wheel. The 9 and 3 position is said to be safer than the 10 and 2 position. Whichever you choose, go for a position that you are most comfortable doing.

10 and 2 position

  • Start with the hand opposite of the direction you are turning to. So if you decide to turn left, use your right hand first.
  • Before you will turn your right hand to the left, you should release your left hand so the steering wheel can turn freely.
  • Turn your right hand until it reaches the 10 o’clock position where your left hand was initially placed.
  • After reaching the 10 o’clock position using your hand right, you should place your left hand at the 12 o’clock position of the steering wheel. Your arms should form an X position when doing this step. This is the reason why this type of steering is called the hand over hand.
  • Release your right hand from the 10 o’clock position so your left hand from the 12 o’clock can freely turn until it reaches the 10 o’clock position.
  • Once your left hand reaches the 10 o’clock position once again from the 12 o’clock position, place your right hand at the 12 o’clock position to turn more to the left. Repeat the steps over and over again until you reach your desired turn radius.

9 and 3 position

  • If you are making a right-hand turn, your left hand should be turning first.
  • Turn your left hand from the 9 o’clock position to the 1 o’clock position. Remember to release your right hand to achieve proper steering wheel turn.
  • Once your left hand is at the 1 o’clock position, place your right hand at the 11 o’clock position and turn it until it reaches the 1 o’clock position.
  • Repeat the steps until your car achieves your desired turning angle.

>>> Related: 7 Signs of a Bad Steering Wheel and How to Fix Them

III. Why should you practice hand over hand steering?

The one thing that you don’t want to develop in your driving is a bad habit. Consistently practicing good steering techniques such as the hand over hand will help you make good habits that will result in a more defensive and safer driving.

Woman holding a steering wheel

Always keep your hands on the steering wheel at all times

There is another common steering technique called the hand to hand or push-pull steering. To do this technique, you will be turning and sliding your hand in a way that you won’t form an X position or a hand over hand position.

The reason why you should practice hand over hand steering over a hand to hand steering is because the former technique provides a more consistent turning motion unlike the latter technique which has short pauses. Drivers who practice hand over hand say this technique feels more convenient than a hand to hand which sometimes feels like you are short on turns.

Man holding a steering wheel

The steering position doesn't really matter as long as you are comfortable with it

Both steering techniques are ideal ways to turn your steering wheel. It’s just a matter of which technique best suits you personally. The only technique you should highly refrain from practicing is using one hand only as it requires a huge amount of effort for a short amount of turn.

>>> Related: Quick & easy guide to unlock your steering wheel

IV. Hand over hand steering: FAQs

Q: What is the ideal steering position?

Over the years, the 10 and 2 position is the ideal steering position for most drivers. However, recent studies say that both the 9 and 3 position and 8 and 4 position are safer than the 10 and 2 position.

Q: Can I turn using a hand only?

Yes, you can turn using one hand only. However, this is not recommended as using two hands is safer than just one.

Q: At which positions should my hands be when performing a hand over hand steering?

When performing the hand over hand steering, you can either place your hands at the 10 and 2 position or the 9 and 3 position, whichever you are more comfortable.

Q: Is hand over hand safe?

Drivers say that the hand over hand steering technique is the safest since you turn the steering wheel in a constant motion.

Q: What is push-pull steering?

Push-pull steering, or also known as hand to hand steering, is a steering technique that requires you to slide your hand around the steering wheel to turn the vehicle.

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Rex Sanchez

Rex Sanchez


Rex Sanchez grew up in Saudi Arabia where he saw and got into the automotive scene. He started his career for an aviation company in the said region, writing about turbines and rotors which are later distributed for educational purposes. And now, he joined Philkotse.com as a staff writer. Currently, he is the youngest on the team and is more than ready to grow in the field.

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