DeWitt (WSYR-TV) - An old adage insists that a driver’s hands should be placed at “10 and 2” – evenly spaced at the top of the steering wheel – as they would appear to corresponding numbers on a clock.
But instructors are now changing that approach to account for the widespread installation of air bags in vehicles.
In the event of a collision, they’re saying that if a driver places his or her hands in the conventional position, a deploying airbag could result in a concussion, a fracture, or hand amputation.
Instructors say drivers should now place their hands at “9 and 3.”
"If your hands are at 10, 2 and the airbag comes out and pushes your hand off the wheel and you have other injuries and you're not able to control the steering wheel,” said driving instructor Deraux Branch, “Any type of broken wrist, hands, facial damage, neck damage, head trauma, airbags deploy very rapidly...and they're very powerful."
Branch recommends that drivers keep their hands at least 10 inches from the airbag.
“Cars have changed...the key is drivers have to change. We have a lot of technology today - iPhones, cell phones - people don't use a Bluetooth so drivers have to change with the times as well,” Deraux said.
Experts say drivers should receive defensive driving education every three years in order to make sure that they are familiar with all the new rules of the road.