This Change to What They Taught Us in Driving School Blew My Mind
My 16-year-old son Jake just got his driving permit after completing his driver's education. With the permit came a packet of materials from the Maine Secretary of State's office including a guide for parents while riding with the kids and one of the things I saw in the booklet changed from the way I was taught in the 1980s.
This past weekend was my weekend with Jake and when I arrived at his house I tossed him the keys and said "You're driving." He hadn't driven since he got his permit about two weeks ago, so it was time. He was nervous, but he did fine. In fact, I told him we'd stay off the Turnpike this time, but when we got to it he said he'd go ahead and drive the whole way to the house. He did great, but it's still hard to believe he's old enough to be driving.
When we got home, I opened up a manila envelope that he got with his permit to log the time we drove to work toward his required 70 hours. One of the things in the packet was this parent's guide provided by the Maine Secretary of State's office that guides parents in their role to teach their kids to drive.
Flipping through the book, one thing caught my attention that totally changed from the way I was taught all those years ago. It's about how you should hold the steering wheel.
We were taught as teenagers your hands should be at 10 and 2 on the wheel, like the hands of a clock. That is no longer recommended and I've been doing it all these years.
In case that's too small to read, here's the important part. "It's now suggested that you hold the wheel at 9 and 3 o'clock or 8 and 4 o'clock. This gives you better vehicle control and lessens the risk of injury if the airbag was to deploy."
Since reading this, I've tried both 9 and 3 and 8 and 4 and they both seem so awkward to me. I guess the whole airbag deploying thing makes sense, but I don't know if I can make the change after all these years. Where do you hold the steering wheel when you drive?
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