It doesn’t matter if you are racing cars on tracks or driving to the supermarket to get a can of soda, understanding the fundamentals of how to operate the steering wheel will make your car riding experience enjoyable…or win you podium finishes. The steering wheel is nothing more than a means to control the direction in which the vehicle goes. But there is more to the modern day steering than just that!
Power Assisted Steering
Cars are getting heavier and steering them at slow speeds can become a burden and downright impossible at times. Power assisted steering systems are designed with the sole intention of making it easier for the driver to navigate and make the vehicle more manoeuvrable, hence making it easier to drive. You can try it out for yourself in most modern cars- apply pressure on the steering wheel while you are moving from rest, and you will feel the steering wheel feel light and nimble.
How To Hold A Steering Wheel Properly
This is one of the basics that is taught to you irrespective if you are sitting in the car for the first time or you are being trained for professional car racing.
Imagine your steering wheel to be like a clock, with imaginary hour markings all around the wheel. You are supposed to hold the steering wheels at the 10 and the 2 positions on the wheel, or the 3 and 9 positions. Do not place a lazy arm over the wheel as there have been countless occurrences of losing control and the car flipping out of control. Also, take care not to allow the steering wheel to spin back through your hands when you are straightening the vehicle up after a turn.
You must operate the steering wheel with two hands at all times, unless and until you are operating the gear shifter at the same time.
A light grip is essential for safety but not one that is not firm. If you wrap just a finger and thumb around the wheel, then it may happen that when you hit a curb, you lose grip and might find yourself losing control of the car. That is the last thing you want to happen to you!
Adjust the steering column height so that the steering wheel is slightly below your shoulder level. The adjustments are different when you are racing, but for all other practical purposes, this is where your steering wheel must be set.
Keeping these pointers in mind will ensure that you grip on tightly to the steering wheel, and reach where you have to, safely!