When driving, it is important to always have good control over the steering wheel. If you cannot control your steering, then you cannot control your vehicle, which can lead to accidents. The prevailing opinion on the best hand position has changed. Mainly, this change has been due to safety increases in vehicles.
The old position was to have hands at the 10:00 and 2:00 positions. The new recommendation for driving hand position, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is to have hands at either 9:00 and 3:00 or 8:00 and 4:00, depending on how your wheel is designed and what allows you to keep your fingers away from the air bag compartment.
It is because of the air bag that the hand position recommendation changed. Hands, fingers and arms can be severely damaged if they are caught when the air bag deploys. In addition, holding the wheel this way allows for more control and is more comfortable. You can react quicker and turn without having to remove your hands from the wheel.
There may also be times when you will need to handle the wheel with one hand. If you are operating other controls in your vehicle, you may need to remove one hand. During this time, just keep your other hand on the wheel in its normal position. The only time you will move your hand is if you are backing up and turning to see behind you. In this case, you would put your hand at the 12:00 position. This information is for education and is not legal advice.