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Ask an Instructor - send us your questions

Whether you are learner driver or an experienced motorist, you can email any driving-related question to info@wycombedrivingschool.co.uk and you will receive a personal response from Wycombe Driving School boss Audrey Wixon, pictured. The best questions and answers will be published on this website anonymously.

Audrey is a DSA ADI; DIAmond, IAM and RoSPA Gold Advanced Driver; Fleet Trainer; Observer for Institute of Advanced Motorists; & National Standard cycling instructor

Audrey Wixon - manager of Wycombe Driving School
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Do I have to hold the steering wheel at ten to two?

Q: My mate says it is not safe to hold your hands at ten to two o'clock on the steering wheel like I was taught by my driving instructor. He says if my airbag goes off it will throw my arms into my face and injure me and the new thinking is that you should hold your hands at twenty to four instead. Do you agree?

correct hand position for steering, as taught by Wycombe Driving School A: I'm afraid I don't agree with that. By holding your hands in the ten to two, or quarter to three o'clock positions they are best placed to steer quickly and accurately in an emergency.

Surely it is better to be ready to prevent an accident, than compromise this ability in an attempt to reduce injuries after a crash? It is true that, as airbags have become more common, there has been an increase in the number of injuries caused by drivers' arms being smashed into their faces when their airbags deploy. However, this risk would be reduced if drivers did not cross their hands over the top of the steering wheel, but rather shuffled the wheel from hand to hand, keeping each hand on its own side.

Your friend should consider the bigger picture. If he has an accident that could have been avoided by holding the steering wheel properly, his airbag may be comfy on his face but it will do nothing to save his passengers or the other road users involved.
Audrey Wixon
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Wycombe Driving School - for driving lessons in High Wycombe and surrounding areas - including Amersham, Beaconsfield, Marlow, Hazlemere, Stokenchurch and Princes Risborough. We offer successful, structured driving lessons, providing free theory test software and lesson handouts. Male and female driving instructors are available, providing both manual and automatic driving lessons.