How to Become Better at Steering a Car

Steering the vehicle is a fundamental skill for any driver. If you can’t steer, then you can’t drive. For this reason, learner drivers will quickly focus on how to do it effectively. 

But even drivers who have racked up tens of thousands of road miles might not be steering in the right way. It’s worth, therefore, thinking about the technique involved, and perfecting it as early as possible.

Disclaimer: This post is a collaboration

Dos and Don’ts

Firstly, you’ll need to keep both hands on the wheel most of the time. If you steer using just one hand, then you risk running out of space to move. This will cause you to have to take your hands off the wheel, which will cause you to (briefly) surrender control of the vehicle.

Your hands should be positioned on either side of the wheel. Imagine that the wheel is a clock face: your hands should be in the ‘2 and 10’ positions. This is a standard favoured by most instructors – though if the hands slip down to the ‘3 and 9’ position, you’ll still be in control of the vehicle.

Feed the wheel through your hands by pushing and pulling it. Don’t press the ball of your hand on the wheel and rotate the entire thing. This could cause the wheel to slip from your grip. Similarly, don’t grip the wheel from the inside.

Steering at a different speed

While you’re learning to drive, you’ll probably be going through quiet suburbs, at no more than 30mph. When you make the transition to main roads and motorways, where higher speeds are required, you approach to steering might benefit from a few changes. At these speeds, you won’t need to move the wheel as much to see major changes in the car’s position. This applies in particular when you’re changing lanes on a motorway.

What really matters here is practice and signalling. Other road users should be aware of your intention to turn the wheel before you perform the manoeuvre. You can practice these things in your own car, with the help of a qualified supervisor and the right learner driver insurance.

Use these efficient techniques

Contrary to what we’ve gone through, there are a few situations where steering with a single hand is desirable. For example, it is very difficult (and not desirable) to keep both hands on the wheel while you’re reversing. You might instead wish to turn around and look where you’re going. In doing this, you can put your hand at twelve o’clock on the wheel. Since you’ll rarely need to perform a large sweeping turn while reversing, just minor adjustments are needed. For this, a single hand at twelve o’clock is perfectly adequate.