Recently, some of the younger members (myself included) of the Top Gear PH team took part in the first module of the Automobile Association Philippines' Motor Sports Development Program, coached by local racing legend Vip Isada. Among the many lessons that Coach Vip shared was the proper way to steer while driving. He instructed us in two methods (think of the steering wheel as a giant clock):
1) Hand-over-hand. To turn left, move your right hand down to the 5 o'clock position and push toward the left. Move your left hand over your right past the 12 o'clock position and place your left hand over the top, essentially forming an 'X' with your wrists on top of the wheel. Release your right hand and continue to steer with your left. Your hands should eventually meet at the 6 o'clock position.
2) Shuffling. To turn left, move your right hand down to the 5 o'clock position and push towards the left. At the same time, slide your left hand up the wheel to the right. Both your hands should meet at the 12 o'clock position. From there, move your hands back to their respective places and repeat the process to continue your turn.
Okay, so which method is better? Honestly, it depends on the situation and your personal preference. Throughout the day-long course, Coach Vip put us through various exercises, and we adjusted our steering method according to the demands of course. However, there are some general rules that apply to all forms of steering:
*Each steer starts with a push. If you're turning left, start the motion by pushing with your right hand and vice versa.
*Make sure that you maintain the proper distance from the wheel. With your arms stretched out and your back against the seat, your wrists should sit on top of the wheel. When you take a 9-and-3 grip, your hands should be roughly the same level as your shoulders. This is so your arms stay in a relaxed neutral position.
*Keep both hands on the wheel and both eyes on the road. Put your phone down.
Which method do you use?