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As one of the primary controls, the steering wheel must be controlled correctly.

Hand Position—Steering Wheel | Passing a Road Test



Closed Caption


Hi there smart driver.

Rick with Smart Drive Test talking to you today about steering wheel hand positions for the purposes of a road test.

I had a comment from Saprina, she wanted me to go over hand-over-hand for left and right turns.

And I'm just in a parking lot here, and I'm just going to do that.

I'm just going to drive around - I'm going to demonstrate how to do hand-over-hand.

Now for those of you in the U.K.

(United Kingdom) and Australia, and Europe - parts of Europe, they want you to do hand-to-hand because they never want your hands off the steering wheel.

And I'll demonstrate that as well.

Hand-Over-Hand Technique

But for the first part - hand-over-hand.

If you're driving a manual transmission you're going to have to take your hands off the steering wheel to shift the gear.

If you're driving an automatic, you can leave your hands on the steering wheel for the duration of the road test.

Now when you turn a corner you get the steering wheel turned, and hold with whichever hand--in my case it's going to be the left hand--and then you're going to shift with your right hand.

So as long as the steering wheels is in a static position, you can take one hand off the steering wheel for the purposes of shifting.

But other than that, you cannot take your hands off the steering wheel.

You have to keep those bolted to the steering wheel for the entire test.

And it's going to be hand-over-hand for people in North America and it's going to be hand-to-hand in Europe and other places.

Now if you have particular questions about any of the nuances about the license test that you're going to take, as I say time and time again - go and hire a local driving school and get a driving instructor to take you out.

Because these people teach people how to drive and how to pass road tests every day.

So they'll be able to answer your very specific questions about the place where you're going to be taking your driver's license test.

So what we're going to do - we're going to fire up the cameras here and we're going to go in the parking lot and I'm going to show you how to do hand-over- hand and hand-to-hand.

Centre of the Hood

Now in the dashcam you'll be able to see a white piece of paper.

The piece paper on the hood is the center of the hood and it will help you to locate the vehicle in the lane.

It's not going to matter too much here in the parking lot, but when we get out on the road and start doing turns it will give you some indication of where the vehicle is in the lane.

So stick around, we'll be right back with that information.

[OPENING CREDITS & MUSIC] So turning left, shoulder checking.

Work in a Parking Lot or other Closed Circuit First

We're just going to do a figure eight - we drive up to the other corner here.

We feed the hand and reach over, and drive to the corner.

Just release the steering wheel - you may have to help it back a little bit.

And you can do hand-to-hand to help it back.

So reach over the steering wheel and bring the steering wheel back.

And you can just practice this in a parking lot as I'm doing here.

I'm just doing a figure-eight and that will give you some familiarity with working the primary controls of the vehicle: the steering wheel, the brake and the throttle.

This is one of the things that you want to do, is you want to go out to the parking lot and you want to do this exercise.

And then we just reach over--shoulder check, and see me reaching over and getting the steering wheel.

And this is much more efficient, I feel, then hand-to-hand; and actually I believe that a lot of people don't do hand-to-hand.

It's beginning to wane in terms of popularity.

But I have seen videos on YouTube where they're still doing this in the UK.

So that's hand-over-hand.

Hand-to-Hand Technique

This is hand-to-hand, and actually I'mhaving trouble doing it because I've never taught hand-to-hand except when I was in Australia for a short period of time.

And you simply just slide the steering wheel through your hands and it's sometimes called the shuffle.

And again, this is a good thing to do is just go out to the parking lot and do a figure '8' like this, and when you get comfortable doing figure '8s', like this then you can start doing straight line backing, backing around corners, and those types of things.

And when you get really proficient at your slow speed maneuvers in a parking lot, do reverse figure eights and those will really really help you to improve your overall driving and get you super familiar with space management of the vehicle.

Because if you can do slow-speed maneuvers, driving out on the highway is going to be much easier because those slow speed maneuvers are going to transition...those skills are going to transition into all of your driving and improve your overall driving.

So those are the two different ways of manipulating the steering wheel - hand-to- hand and hand-over-hand.

Bringing the Steering Wheel Back After Turning

And a lot of times, some driving instructors, different places will want you to use hand-to-hand to bring the steering wheel back.

Personally when I teach students, you don't have to - you simply open your fingers let the steering wheel slide through your hands and just close your fingers after the steering wheel comes back.

Now we're going to head out onto the road here and I'll demonstrate both of these on the roadway as we're driving around.

I'm in a parking line here and be very careful when you're in parking lots.

Working the Steering Wheel on The Roadway

So this is hand-over-hand and we're releasing, just keeping our palms in contact with the steering wheel and then helping it a little bit when it's done.

Shoulder checking - I couldn't see because of that large bus there.

I have a bit of an acceleration lane here, but it's not enough to get in front of this gaggle of traffic.

There's a lot of traffic coming from the left side here as you may be able to see in the camera.

We have a gap - shoulder check (head check) immediately before going.

You can see that we've had some snow here which makes driving fun.

It's only our second snow of the year and people are still not used to driving in the snow.

As well, communicating with other traffic your intentions on the road.

And I have my signal on.

Meeting the Gap...on a Left-Hand Turn

Now when you're making a left-hand turn, you'll be able to see in the dashcam that what I'm going to do is I'm going to meet the gap.

I can see the gap coming, so I've moved straight forward and I shifted one gear in preparation for the left-hand turn before I started turning the wheels.

And again when you're driving in the snow like this it's a bit difficult to determine where the lane markings are.

Once in a while you just kind of get a little glimps of them.

I can see the lane marking over to the right there - I'm actually not in the lane right now.

I've got construction workers on the right.

Mirror, signal, shoulder check.

I've got a vehicle coming but I can make it - there's a good gap there.

We go around for the left-hand turn.

You saw on that left-hand turn that it was a big wide sweeping left-hand turn that I didn't have to use hand-over-hand.

Small Movements of the Steering Wheel

I didn't have to turn the steering wheel very sharp.

Okay so this one here i just opened my fingers and let the steering wheel slide through my palms, but I keep my palms in contact with the steering wheel.

I will do a right-hand turn up here and I'll do hand-to-hand.

Mirror, signal, shoulder check and get my gear before I start turning.

So I slowed down to second gear.

And again, for those of you driving...See that hand-to-hand is not as quick as hand-over-hand.

You're not moving as much of the steering wheel through your hands.

Hand-over-hand is much quicker than hand-to-hand because with hand-to-hand you're not moving as much of the steering wheel through your hands.

I get my gear before I turn the corner - hand- to-hand.

Hand-over-hand - open my fingers and let the steering wheel slide through my palms.

I've got a flagger up here with a stop sign.

Turning Right at the Intersection

And I stopped before the intersection, otherwise I'm blocking the intersection.

Scanning the intersection before proceeding.

And we're going to turn right at the intersection.

Hand-over-hand and open my fingers to allow the steering wheel to come back through my palms.

I'm going slow with the pedestrian and the other person standing next to the dump truck - the tip truck.

And again, you can see here that I don't need to take my hands off the steering wheel.

I only move the steering wheel less than half a turn to get it to go around the curve here.

I'm driving slowly in the snow.

You can see I'm driving less than 40 kilometers an hour.

And I'm going to slow down early.

Quick review of steering wheel hand positions - hand-to-hand and hand-over-hand are the two techniques that you use for manipulating the steering wheel.

When you're driving for the purposes of a road test, it will depend on where you are in the world, which one you're going to use.

In North America, for the most part, we use hand-over-hand because it is more efficient and you can manipulate the steering wheel more quickly.

Allowing the Steering Wheel to Come Back....Keep Palms in Contact with Wheel

Now when you around the corner you don't have to manipulate the steering wheel back, simply open your fingers and allow the steering wheel to move through your palms because you're keeping your palms in contact with the steering wheel and you may have to bring the steering wheel back a little bit - help it out a little bit.

But for the most part, simply open your fingers and let it slide through your palms and then close your fingers after the turn is completed.

Hand-to-hand in the UK and Europe - they want you to use hand-to-hand.

some places in Australia as well want you to use hand-to- hand.

And the reason for that is so that you have both hands and contact with the steering wheel at all times.

Lots of driving instructors, myself included, don't find it as efficient as hand-over-hand and you can't move the steering wheel as quickly.

As I said, a lot of turns you're going to require less than half and turn on the steering wheel, and you won't even have to move your hands off the steering wheel in order to turn the vehicle left or right.

Question for smart drivers:

Do you have to use hand-to-hand or hand-over-hand for your road test.

Leave a comment down in the comment section there and tell us what you think of the technique that you have to use for the purposes of your road test.

I'm Rick with Smart Drive Test.

Thanks very much for watching.

If you like what you see here share, subscribe, leave a comment down in the comment section.

As well, hit that thumbs up button.

Check out all the videos here on the channel if you're working towards a license or starting your career as a truck or bus driver.

Head over to our website - lots of great information over there.

Stick around to the end of the video - funny bits.

As well as links to the other videos and to my website.

Thanks again for watching.

Good luck on your road test.

And remember, pick the best answer not necessarily the right answer.

Have a great day.

Bye now.


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