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  • Way OT: New "How to drive" info

    http://bottomline.msnbc.msn.com/_new...ving-all-wrong

    You'd think they would have told us this a long time ago. It's going to be tough to change, but I'm gonna give it a try.
    Any products mentioned in my posts have been endorsed by their manufacturer.

  • #2
    I made the change nearly 10 years ago. I've (thankfully) never had to prove it's effectiveness. I was worse than a 10-2 driver, I was an arm-over-steering-wheel-draper.

    These days, with the nearly-universal installation of passenger side airbags, I cringe at the common sight of small children in front seats, passengers of all ages putting their feet up on the dashboard and drivers sitting literally inches from the steering wheel.

    Those people are in for a rude awakening should a minor fender-bender result in that airbag in front of them breaking their leg across their nose.

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    • #3
      9 and 3 o-clock? Blah, I put my hands at 8:45 and 3:15, it gives me another 15 minutes to get to work!
      Play Brutal Nature, Black Moons free to play highly realistic voxel sandbox game.

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      • #4
        If I am driving a car in America I grip the right hand edge of the wheel with my outstretched left hand, thats the only part of the wheel I can reach from the drivers seat, I cant even reach the pedals at all but fortunately my wife can operate those under my direction.

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        • #5
          Uhh? As an example. Let's pretend we have a heavy commercial truck with an 18 speed manual transmission. And I'm supposed to grip the steering wheel how? It is a good warning about just how what we were taught then isn't up to date for todays technology. I very much appreciate that.

          Accidents can and do happen. But if the same effort we've been doing towards vehicle safety was put towards actually educating people about just how to drive safely and defensively, We would have far less need for those air bags and safety systems. It's right around 9-1 for the figures about preventable verses non preventable accidents. The whole concept of driving is getting from point A to B and DON'T hit anything.

          After well over a million miles driving those 18 speed trucks, I can say 90% of the drivers are generally good. It's the other 10% that seem to create 90% of the problems.

          Pete

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          • #6
            I've no doubt there have been airbag related injuries resulting from hand placement. But it would seem to me that the problem can't be too prevalent, or else more would have been published about it previously. This is the first I've heard of it.

            Artful, I'd never thought about New Zealanders driving on the "wrong" side of the road. I knew Australians do. I was there once for a long week, and drove a rental car. My worst problem was remembering which side of the car to get in. Time after time I found myself getting into the thing, and then wondering who stole the steering wheel.

            I found the actual driving to be no problem, tho making a right turn required some concentration.

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            • #7
              Believe it or not fellas, but this is argument is 30+ years old now, since the first airbag systems were mass produced. From what I have heard, there has been no "official" recommendations made, simply reports/papers published suggesting there might be an issue. 10 and 2 has been in every manual I have seen, and along with NOT crossing your hands "captain's wheel" style as the article suggests is the norm, at every driving school I have attended. Personally, I find I get the best leverage on the wheel at 10 and 2, and having a solid hold is the most important aspect to me. 8 and 4 never happen as it is an unnatural position.

              Personally, I believe this is another example of one overzealous reporter writing, followed by others copying their work as we see every evening on the nightly news.
              "I am, and ever will be, a white-socks, pocket-protector, nerdy engineer -- born under the second law of thermodynamics, steeped in the steam tables, in love with free-body diagrams, transformed by Laplace, and propelled by compressible flow."

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              • #8
                I like to hook my thumb inside the wheel, and of course just use one hand. Leaving one hand free, I can instantly return a single-digit gesture by another friendly motorist.

                Rather than being forced to endure the uncomfortable hand positions recommended, I'd rather grip the wheel in a way that gives me maximum ability to turn the wheel quickly if need be. At the same time, I'd like my arms to be in such a position that if quick action is required, I won't find that my arms are numb from some stupid grip that I'm supposed to maintain. I'd rather not be distracted by any of this as well, so that I'm able to pay the most attention to the road and the 'accidents waiting to happen' that are all around me.

                As far as the explosive device planted directly in front of my face at close range- which threatens to make me punch my own nose into the back of my brain while removing my skin gloves and rendering me a cripple, but still alive- it's a toss up. Would I rather get extruded through the steering wheel, then execute a rather abrupt exit through a wall of broken glass- hmm. Have to think about that- .

                I dislike the seat belt intensely. It irritates my neck, which is very distracting. It has literally almost caused me to have an accident, more than once- in fact dozens of times. I'm thinking of getting my shirts embossed with the look of a seat belt draped across my chest.

                I've considered modifying the front door hinges to allow the doors to slew off forwards in the event of a front-on impact. I'd add a belt that ties to the doors, then goes around my waist. When the door flies off, I'll be 'thrown clear'. If this action is faster than the air bag, I could avoid slugging myself in the face.

                Of course, there's another option in regards to the air bag- it may not look all that pretty, but you could sort of spin a web of duck tape around the shrapnel that covers the air bag.

                Maybe great great great grandma was right- man has no business travelling any faster than the break-neck speed of 12 mph.
                I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

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                • #9
                  I'll take my chances with my 10 and 2 hold. It has served me well for countless thousands hours of seat time. Control should be the paramount issue here.

                  I think accident avoidance takes precedence over accident survivability.
                  Home, down in the valley behind the Red Angus
                  Bad Decisions Make Good Stories​

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                  • #10
                    As one who is long in the tooth and has a million miles plus behind me in all classes of vehicles, all conditions, and who has a background in racing (2 wheel and 4 wheel) I would like to make a few observations.

                    Thanks for the air bag info, I never was aware of that.

                    Anyone who has driven long hours at a stretch has used multiple hand positions.

                    The "unintended and excessive steering wheel movement which is a primary cause of young driver fatalities" is due to the snatch (sudden, rapid, and excessive change in direction of the steering tires), not hand position.

                    A snatch can be performed with one hand or two hands and is not a function of the hand/hands position on the steering wheel. It upsets the stability of the vehicle. The same can be said of sudden and hard application of the brakes.

                    Both of these are natural and intuitive reactions to unexpected encounters for both inexperienced and experienced drivers.

                    Accident avoidance requires attentiveness and minimal inputs, both steering and braking and maybe even counter-intuitive reactions such as nailing the throttle when your natural reaction is to brake.

                    Safety measures such as ABS and traction control are a godsend to folks who don't know how to drive but they will not overcome the laws of physics and they take away a number of car control measures that are available to someone who does know how to drive (control the vehicle).

                    To all - learn to make whatever vehicle you drive do what you want it to do, no matter the driving conditions. Learn it to the point that even if the required response is counter-intuitive your vehicle control response is done without thought on your part.

                    Drive Safe - Don't wreck - don't lose hands or hand parts - either driving or in the shop.

                    I have been asked what is the fastest you have ever been. My reply was on a track loader going backwards down a hill with no brakes and the transmission locked in neutral towards a cliff. (a story for a different time and due solely to operator inexperience/error)

                    God Bless and be Safe.

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                    • #11
                      I've been trying to teach myself the 9-3 position for a few years... ever since I got the wife a Neon. Mostly, I drive 10 and 4, with my left hand doing the steering and my right for stability. At 10, my left hand can turn either way pretty far and then the right can take over if I have to go farther. Worked well for the bigger vehicles I've driven but not so good for the Neon. I don't really give a -bleep- about what some driving instructor says about it. I'm long-past road test days and I by the time I get back to them the cars will be driving me around.

                      I have a habit of letting the wheel spin straight coming out of a corner and under hard acceleration the front wheel drive Neon doesn't. It has to be told to go back to straight and I keep finding my hands in an awkward position at that point. I'm not fond of that but the thing handles phenomenally well otherwise, so I'll keep it and learn to adapt. Thus the 9-3 bit. Funny thing is, as soon as I put my hands in that 9-3, I start driving faster -- feels too much like a racing position. Good car for it too. That silly Neon sticks like glue and I had to put rubber matting in the trunk to stop my toolbox from slamming back and forth in the fun stuff. I've been working on the shuffle rather than hand over hand approach too. Not because of the air bag, never thought about that actually, but because it just works better with that car. I've always found the best way to drive is the way the car and road want to be driven. It's up to the the driver to adapt.

                      I suppose, the way cars are going these days, if it detects your hands are in the wrong place it will soon just take over the steering. I hope I'll be too old to drive before we get there. The stupid rev-limiter is annoying enough. I mean, if I want to scream the engine that extra little bit to get by whoever is in front of me, well, that's my choice. It's my engine damnit. I can blow it apart if I want to. Stupid computers.
                      http://fixerdave.blogspot.com/

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                      • #12
                        I am with FETOAU on this. You have better control at 10-2 than 9-3. I hate air bags. I like seat belts. I wish they would teach people how to merge on interstates. They don't teach how to drive, they teach how to steer a car and a poor job of that.

                        I switch steering wheel positions when I am driving to suit the conditions. I drive far ahead of my vehicle and use the brakes very little. Hand position on the steering wheel is not as important as that article makes it out to be. If the bag deploys it may push your hands off the wheel no matter where you have them.
                        It's only ink and paper

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by lynnl
                          I was there once for a long week, and drove a rental car. My worst problem was remembering which side of the car to get in. Time after time I found myself getting into the thing, and then wondering who stole the steering wheel.

                          I found the actual driving to be no problem, tho making a right turn required some concentration.
                          NZ or Australia? NZ's right turning rule changes this Saturday midnight, changed back to what it was 30+ years ago. I trust I can make the change back again!

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                          • #14
                            As I was driving back home tonite, I took note of where my hands were. Left hand at 7:30, right hand on my right leg, palm up, ready to take the wheel. I was steering with my thumb, NOT hooked into the wheel. I'll see what my habit is tomorrow morning- might be different, and might depend on traffic, etc.
                            I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

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                            • #15
                              I have a prehensile appendage and unfortunately it is only long enough to wrap two times around the wheel at the six o'clock position. This does leave both of my hands free to talk on my cell and skip through the chapters on my dash mounted DVD player though!
                              How to become a millionaire: Start out with 10 million and take up machining as a hobby!

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