Social Question

rangerr's avatar

When you are driving, where are your hands?

Asked by rangerr (15748points) March 2nd, 2010

I was driving this morning, and the entire drive home which was about 30 minutes I was thinking about where people I know keep their hands when they drive.

When I’m in my car, my left hand is usually at the top of the steering wheel and my right wrist is resting on the shifter knob.

When I’m in my truck, my right hand is at the top of the wheel and my left arm is resting next to the window.

So… because I’m overly curious and I know not everyone follows the BOTH HANDS ON THE WHEEL AT ALL TIMES rule.. where are your hands when you drive?

Bikes are acceptable too. I usually only ride with one hand on the handlebars.

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42 Answers

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

Until I get my radio fixed,they’ll be on my double-bass ;)it’s the only way to drive

jbfletcherfan's avatar

My left hand is either on top of the wheel or down lower on the side. My right hand is down low on the wheel. Sometimes its just resting on my right leg. Hmmm…it’s hard to give a definite answer on this. I never thought about it. My hands move around. There’s no set answer.

jaytkay's avatar

Before airbags, the general rule was 10 o’clock and 2 o’clock on the wheel.
Now it’s 8 o’clock and 4 o’clock, so a deploying airbag doesn’t break your arms.

jfos's avatar

I’m predicting an Alanis Morrisette reference at some point.

I’m with you—left hand at the top of the steering wheel and right one on the shifter. Sometimes they move in accordance with the music.

erichw1504's avatar

“I got one hand on the steering wheel and the other one is shifting gear-ers!”

njnyjobs's avatar

My hands will be at various points on the wheel as I drive. There will be time when it’s a one-handed control. . there maybe times that both hands are off the wheel, most especially on long drives on a straight-away with cruise control on. It is a very dynamic task.

Sophief's avatar

I don’t drive so I can put my hands anywhere I like.

rangerr's avatar

@jfos Oh man. I didn’t even think about when I move them to music. That’s probably what I do more than anything.

john65pennington's avatar

I saw a woman driving an SUV that had no hands on the steering wheel. she was putting on makeup, talking on a cellphone and steering with her knees. i got out of her way.

JeffVader's avatar

Hand on knob eh?! There’s deffinately a joke in there somewhere :)

jfos's avatar

I figured it would be you, @erichw1504

JeffVader's avatar

Hmmm…. my right hand is usually in the ¼ past position, the left one, depends who’s in the car with me.

CMaz's avatar

When I am cruising along. Hands in my lap. Thumbs on the wheel.
Or left arm on the door. Right hand or thumb on the wheel.

Or 10 and 2 O’clock. Just depends on the driving conditions.

jfos's avatar

I just remembered that some people drive on the right side of the car and some drive on the left. @Cloverfield made that clear.

JeffVader's avatar

@Dibley Hehe, I think a little knee, or thigh make a wonderful accompaniment to driving :)

DarkScribe's avatar

It depends on what I am driving and whether it is on roads or highway/freeways. It also depends on vehicles. If I am driving the convertible I tend to rest my right hand on the windshield top with my elbow on the drivers door sill. (RHD car) In a sedan one hand on the gear shift, the other on the wheel. I also have an old pick-up and with that it is usually both hands on the wheel as I generally use it to tow.

JeffVader's avatar

@jfos Hah, yeh, that would seem a little odd your side of the pond :)

casheroo's avatar

Both hands are on the wheel, unless i’m changing the station.
sometimes 10 and 2, or i think 7 and 5ish area.

Just_Justine's avatar

Most the time I have both hands on the steering wheel. There has been an occasion or two where .. well I won’t go there.

Facade's avatar

Right hand at the bottom of the steering wheel.
Left fingers on my left thigh while my forearm rests on the door-platform-thingy lol

Sarcasm's avatar

90% of the time, I only have one hand on the wheel.
Which hand it is depends on which car I’m in.
When I’m in my car, my right hand is steering, roughly at 3 o’clock, elbow rested on the armrest, while my left arm is either out the window, or on the armrest.
When I’m borrowing my dad’s car every once in a blue moon, it’s my right arm that’s resting on the center console while my left hand steers.

jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities's avatar

Unless I’m actively turning, only three fingers from my left hand are on the wheel. My index finger is inside the wheel just above the crossbar, my middle finger is on the outside of the wheel, and my thumb is inside just below the crossbar. Sounds sketchy, but I’ve got it under control. My right hand does whatever it wants.

OperativeQ's avatar

It’s never a constant thing. Sometimes one’s at the top and the other’s at the bottom. Sometimes they are at 2 and 10. Sometimes they aren’t at all.

But on the whole, I’d say most of the time, my right hand is on the bottom (6 ‘oclock) while my left is off the wheel.

deni's avatar

left hand is usually on the bottom of the steering wheel and my right hand is doing something else, such as playing with my hair, selecting a new song, or petting my bf if he’s with me…which he always is since i no longer have a car and if i’m driving one, it’s his. of course if i’m driving a stick though, i tend to stay more focused and usually have my right hand on the shifter and left on the wheel. but most times i steer with one finger. like if i’m on a highway. i keep the pointer finger of my right hand on the steering wheel and thats really it lol.

Bluefreedom's avatar

The left hand is almost always somewhere on the steering wheel and oftentimes, the right hand is wrapped around a nice, hot cup of coffee when it is not attending to other tasks that warrant my attention.

Jack79's avatar

@rangerr same as yours (in Europe and other places driving on the right). When I drive in the UK (which is not often), I keep banging the door with my right hand trying to find the gearbox, while my left hand does everything else.

filmfann's avatar

Left hand at the 1 o’clock position. Yes, over the top.
Right hand on the shift. Funny thing is I drive an automatic. It’s just that I had a stick shift for YEARS.

Fred931's avatar

I’ve already found myself with my left arm on the rest while driving with the other hand, and I’m hardly a permit driver! Usually, though, I’m 9 to 3.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

I usually keep my right hand on the side of the steering wheel, and my left hand resting on the gear knob. I leave my right hand on the side, because in an emergency or a situation that requires more finesse, I only need to move one hand to have both on the wheel instead of moving both.

YARNLADY's avatar

I move my hands around on the wheel from time to time while driving. Our steering wheel has several control buttons right on the wheel, so it isn’t necessary to reach to change the radio station or volume. I do have to take a hand off to initiate cruise control or turn on the windshield wiper.

DarkScribe's avatar

@YARNLADY I move my hands around on the wheel from time to time while driving. Our steering wheel has several control buttons right on the wheel, so it isn’t necessary to reach to change the radio station or volume. I do have to take a hand off to initiate cruise control or turn on the windshield wiper.

I could do amazing things with this post by substituting some feminine pronouns for the automotive nouns.

toomuchcoffee911's avatar

On a bike, I always keep my hands on the handlebars. Where else am I supposed to put the,?

YARNLADY's avatar

@DarkScribe Pullleeeeze, I’m a lady

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

!0 ans @ o’clock unless I have to shift gears. None of my vehicles are new enough to have airbags.

Zen_Again's avatar

Where do you keep your hands when driving is a 6 x GQ question?

rangerr's avatar

@Zen_Again Good or bad? I was curious. :l

chamelopotamus's avatar

I got my left hand resting on my knee, and my fingers are clutching the bottom left of the steering wheel. Then my right hand comes in and helps out if times get tough.

Zen_Again's avatar

I think it’s a testament to how many fans you have, @rangerr.


rangerr's avatar

@Zen_Again What can I say? The people love me~

SecondHandStoke's avatar

Proper 8 and 4 O’clock position.

This is optimum for a general relaxed driving position.

Also it puts my right hand as close as possible to the gearshift knob. In fact when shifting towards me the only part of my arm I have to move is my wrist and below.

This also puts my aftermarket audio system/iPhone steering wheel remote in between my right hand’s thumb and middle finger, volume buttons are on the back. (No need to change my hand’s position at all).

The remote was designed to be strapped to the inside of the steering wheel rim. I thought this layout to be inelegant and annoying.

I instead removed and dismantled the cruise control button assembly, modified the mount with a hacksaw and nail file to accept the remote’s wheel rim mount and then returned the cruise control mount to it’s factory position.

Sorry, I’ll shut up now.

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