Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Is it Safe to Drive With One Hand?

According to esure, two million drivers have had an accident, or near accident while driving with just one hand. An academic report that came out in April of 2012 showed that driving with two hands is better than driving with one hand. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) advises you to place your hands at the nine o’clock and three o’clock positions for the safest driving position. There are many instances where we may find ourselves with one hand on the wheel - including having food and beverages in our hand.

Here are some things to know about safety while driving with one hand on the wheel:

  • The study above, done in 2012, showed that those who were eating behind the wheel had decreased reaction times of 44 percent. If the reason you are driving with one hand is because you are eating, this is dangerous because if a car suddenly stops in front of you, it will take you nearly twice as long to stop then if you had both hands on the wheel.

  • The study also showed that those who were drinking a beverage behind the wheel were 18 percent more likely to have poor lane control. If you are sipping on water or soda, you may notice it is hard to stay in the center of the lane. This can be hazardous if a vehicle is attempting to pass you and you accidentally swerve into their lane.

  • The nine and three position is now the norm for hand placement because of air bags. Air bags deploy when the vehicle is in an accident, and are designed to keep you from hitting the steering wheel and the dashboard. Once the air bags open, the plastic cover pops off. If your hands are too high on the wheel, the plastic could injure you when it blows open. Therefore, keep both hands at nine and three to minimize the potential for injury.

  • According to the NHTSA, front air bags have saved about 2,336 lives every year from 2008 to 2012, so they do make a difference when it comes to safety. To further keep yourself safe, keep both hands firmly planted on the wheel at the nine and three position.

Driving with one hand is not a good idea because you do not have as much control of the vehicle then if you were driving with two hands. In addition, driving with one hand while eating or drinking, is even more of a hazard. The correct hand position is now at nine and three to keep yourself safe in the case of an accident. While many people find themselves driving with one hand at times, there is slightly more risk for accident than driving with two hands. Overall, make sure you are always aware of the road to ensure safety.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

More related articles

P0222 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle/Pedal Position Switch/Sensor B Circuit Low Input
P0222 code definition Throttle/Pedal Position Switch/Sensor B Circuit Low Input What the P0222 code means The manufacturer specifies a range of acceptable voltage to be produced from the throttle position...
P2422 OBD-II Trouble Code: Evaporative Emissions Control System (EVAP) Vent Valve Stuck Closed
Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC): P2422 P2422 code definition Evaporative Emissions Control System (EVAP) Vent Valve Stuck Closed Related Trouble Codes: P2441: EVAP Vent Valve Stuck Open EVAP trouble...
Auto Safety Tips
Driving is more than a way to get from point A to point B. Owning and driving a car can also be a highly enjoyable experience. Whether a person is driving...


Related questions

Q: What precautions should I take with the air bag system?

While the air bags in your car are designed to enhance safety during accidents, you do need to take a few precautions to ensure that you don’t damage the system, or increase your risk of injury. Here’s what you should...

Q: What does the passenger air bag off light mean in a 2012 Toyota Corolla?

The Passenger Air Bag Off light is located on the center console, with the rest of the front passenger indicators. This light will illuminate when the seat sensor detects that a child or child restraint system is in the front...

Q: How do the active head restraints work in a 2012 Nissan Altima?

Active head restraints are provided only in the front two seats, and only on some Altimas (it depends on the trim level). If your car is equipped with these, they provide additional safety in the event of an accident. They...