Ten and Two

When I was learning to drive, they always told us to put our hands on the wheel at 10 and 2. Like, if the steering wheel is a clock, you put your left hand where the 10 is, and your right hand where the 2 is. This is the way I drive most often; I find it extremely comfortable.

But the other day I learned that this standard rule is no longer supported by driving organizations. Reason being, it can be problematic placement of your hands if the airbag deploys. Basically, the airbag deploys, and pushes your hands violently at your face. Most authorities suggest 9 and 3 as an alternative, safer placement. Then your hands will just fly out to the sides, which would presumably be less hazardous.

So what’s the deal with teaching me 10 and 2? Well, airbags weren’t in most cars when I learned to drive. They didn’t become mandatory on all vehicles until 1998. I learned to drive in 1991. 9 and 3 was offered as an alternative, and they’d let you do that. But I always gravitated to 10 and 2. I just find it so amazingly comfortable.

But yeah, now I’m training myself not to do it, since my steering column obviously has an airbag. 9 and 3’s alright. But I feel a bit wistful. 10 and 2 and I were so good together.

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