Properly holding your car’s steering wheel can minimize your risk of getting into an accident. It can also minimize the risk of significant finger, hand, or arm injuries in the event that you do get into an accident. Let’s take a closer look at how to correctly use this critical vehicle component and how it can reduce your risk of an accident or a serious injury.
Where Should Your Hands Be When Holding a Steering Wheel?
Your parents or whoever taught you how to first drive may have told you that you should hold the steering wheel at nine and three while traveling. What this means is that your left hand should grip the wheel where the number nine appears on a traditional clock. At the same time, your right hand should grip the wheel where the three appears on a standard clock. Following this advice ensures that you have maximum control over the wheel and can move it with ease if you need to take evasive action.
You Can’t Grip a Steering Wheel if Your Hands Are Slippery
It’s generally a good idea to wash your hands before driving if you have recently eaten greasy or sticky food. It may also be a good idea to use driving gloves or keep a towel nearby if your hands tend to sweat a lot while gripping the wheel. This can help to ensure that they don’t slip off of the wheel while your car is in motion.
If your hands slide off of the wheel while making a turn, it could cause your vehicle to spin or skid out of control. In the event that your hands slide off of the wheel while driving on a highway, you may accidentally steer your car into another lane of traffic. This may increase your chances of getting into a crash resulting in serious injuries or property damage.
How Does an Improper Grip Increase Your Risk of an Injury?
Let’s say that you only use a single finger to control your steering wheel. This means that the ligaments in that finger are responsible for ensuring that a device that weighs about three pounds on average. Therefore, you are at great risk of straining or tearing a ligament in that digit.
In addition, you may also put strain on the rest of your hand and wrist by holding the wheel in such a flimsy manner. Even if you hold the wheel with a whole hand, there is still a chance that you could do damage to your shoulder or other body parts that must move when the wheel is turned.
Be Sure to Sit at a Proper Distance from the Steering Wheel
It’s worth noting that you might increase your chances of getting hurt if you sit too close to the steering wheel. This is because you may have to place your hands in awkward positions to ensure that your forearms or elbows don’t rub against your chest or legs.
Ultimately, you may put strain on your hands, arms, or other body parts in an attempt to contort yourself in a manner that lets you move without too much discomfort. Furthermore, it may be harder to control the steering wheel because you may not be able to fully move the wheel without another body part getting in the way.
Of course, it’s also important to not sit too far away from the steering wheel either. Otherwise, you may find it difficult to make lane changes, simple turns, or emergency evasive maneuvers without putting yourself and others in danger. As a general rule, you are sitting too far back if you need to fully extend your arms to reach the steering wheel.
You Could Incur Financial Penalties for Improperly Using a Steering Wheel
If you cause an accident because you weren’t in control of your vehicle, you could be held liable for damages that other people incur. For instance, the driver of the other vehicle involved in a crash that you caused might be entitled to compensation for lost wages, vehicle repairs, and other damages. You may also be liable for any losses that a passenger in your own car incurs as a result of your negligent actions.
Operating your car in a safe manner is one of the best ways to get to your destination without incident. However, if you are in an accident, it may be in your best interests to seek the services of an accident attorney. At The Solomon Law Group, we are experienced in handling complex car accident claims and are prepared to help you protect your legal rights. To learn more about protecting your rights in a personal injury case, feel free to contact our firm today.