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When I drive, I place my hands at ...

Displaying poll results.
2 o'clock and 10 o'clock
  4219 votes / 18%
3 o'clock and 9 o'clock
  4019 votes / 17%
4 o'clock and 8 o'clock
  3669 votes / 16%
9:45 and 2:17
  3536 votes / 15%
None of your business where I put my hands!
  6917 votes / 30%
22360 total votes.
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  • Don't complain about lack of options. You've got to pick a few when you do multiple choice. Those are the breaks.
  • Feel free to suggest poll ideas if you're feeling creative. I'd strongly suggest reading the past polls first.
  • This whole thing is wildly inaccurate. Rounding errors, ballot stuffers, dynamic IPs, firewalls. If you're using these numbers to do anything important, you're insane.
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When I drive, I place my hands at ...

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 26, 2012 @10:18AM (#39473845)

    ...with my left knee at about 7 o'clock

    • by Esteanil (710082) * on Monday March 26, 2012 @11:46AM (#39474967) Homepage Journal

      In my pockets. I'm testing Google's driverless cars!

      (Not really, but someone had to say it)

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Hands? There are far better uses for hands.
        Some of us just use their prehensile tails: the tail on the wheel and cruise control on. This leaves both hands and both feet free for some serious flea-hunting on the GF.

    • How else can you drive, eat a burger *and* drink a soda all at once.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by jonadab (583620)
        My dad once freaked out my mom by reading an atlas while simultaneously eating potato chips, carrying on two separate conversations (one up front, one with the kids in the back seat) and driving with his knees. (He did also have a pop, but I don't think he actually took a drink of the pop at exactly the same time as putting a potato chip in his mouth. That was more an alternating activity -- chip, chip, chip, drink some pop, chip, chip, chip, drink more pop, ... so that only counts as one activity at a t
    • by turing_m (1030530)

      I used to drive like you, but then I took an arrow in the knee.

  • None of the above... (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 26, 2012 @10:26AM (#39473945)

    Left hand at 7 or 11.. right on the shifter :P

    • by webheaded (997188) on Monday March 26, 2012 @05:35PM (#39478869) Homepage
      Hey...everyone...LOOK! This awesome guy drives a manual! :p

      I drove manual for years and I hardly see why your hand needs to be on the shifter at ALL times except maybe during rush hour.
    • by praxis (19962)

      If you keep your hand on the shifter, you're doing it wrong.

    • by WillKemp (1338605)

      Keeping your hand on the gear stick is a good way to fuck your gearbox!

      • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

        Hand job? :D

        Seriously seen cars that have been drive that way last for over 300 000km without gearbox replacements (at this point the engine is usually dying). Maybe you Americans just don't know how to engineer a decent gearbox? :)

        • by AdrianKemp (1988748) on Tuesday March 27, 2012 @11:54AM (#39485217)

          It's true that keeping your hand on the shifter is a bad idea, but for none of the reasons that most people think: in order of seriousness

          #1 when you hit a pothole you're liable to push/pull on the stick which *does* cause damage

          #2 If you're a ham beast or really grip the sucker you'll be putting a constant strain on the (insert any one of a dozen terms for any of the components linking the stick and the collars), over time this can wear them out. Technically even a light touch can add strain, but no more than the natural bumps of the road.

          #3 If you're actually holding the stick shift at all times, and an idiot, you're liable to pull on it as your turning, this is as bad as #1 but less serious since you totally deserve it for using the shifter as a brace.

          So what you've seen is cars that have had someone lightly resting on the shifter which causes so little wear as to be ignored completely; The reason owner's manuals and the like tell you it's a bad idea is the same reason that (here in North America anyways) plastic bags say not to let your kids play with them.

      • No.

    • by dargaud (518470)
      I have a friend who always drive with left hand at 2 and right hand on the clutch. Even when on the highway. He takes sharp turns...

      And I remember the obese mother of a friend who drove and ancient classic US megacar with large hollow steering wheel, with both hands at 12 and her elbows _inside_ the wheel. She was doing wider curves than an 18 wheeler. Scary as shit.

    • Stop doing that, you're wearing out the transmission.
  • In town I have my hand on the stick more than I really need it to be, on the interstate it's usually just left hand 10:00 right arm on the passenger seat. I have an old shoulder injury, it just feels best to keep my right arm up.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    "I've got both hands free, driving with my knee"

    Hands aren't free is holding a beer, the other on the texting.

  • Option explanations (Score:5, Informative)

    by dkleinsc (563838) on Monday March 26, 2012 @10:50AM (#39474251) Homepage

    2:00 and 10:00 - Older way driver's ed teachers would teach steering, leading to such things as Driver's Ed'ed! [] (skip to 0:37 if you don't want to see the whole thing).

    3:00 and 9:00 - Holding your arms at the side if the wheel so you can stick your elbow into the face of your passenger.

    4:00 and 8:00 - The lazy option, this allows you to keep your hands in your lap.

    9:45 and 2:17 - George Carlin: "Now, a few basic points about driving. One of the first things they teach you in Driver's Ed is where to put your hands on the steering wheel. They tell you put 'em at ten o'clock and two o'clock. Never mind that. I put mine at 9:45 and 2:17. Gives me an extra half hour to get where I'm goin'."

    None of your business where I put my hands! - Umm, what are you doing behind the wheel there?

    Missing completely is of course something about CowboyNeal.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Missing completely is of course something about CowboyNeal.

      I doubt CowbyNeal drives. He would have to come out of his Mom's basement to do that.

    • by Ksevio (865461) on Monday March 26, 2012 @12:47PM (#39475715) Homepage
      The 4:00 and 8:00 is the NHTSA recommended location [] in order to avoid the airbag snapping your arms off.

      Also, truckers and lazy people.
      • by tompaulco (629533)
        The 4:00 and 8:00 is the NHTSA recommended location [] in order to avoid the airbag snapping your arms off.
        You are likely to have an accident about 3 times in your life. About 30% of the time, airbags don't go off when they should. Given that, there are two possible times in your life when an airbag might break your arms. Does it really make sense to change your wheel position to factor that in, and give up all the advantages of driving with your hands at 10 and 2?
        • There are some advantages to the 8 and 4 position as well. Specifically, that the position reduces fatigue and lets you stay comfortable in a seated position for a longer period of time. Also, AFAIK, the 8 and 4 position facilitates the push-pull steering method which is thought to be superior. 10 and 2 is more conducive to the hand-over-hand method. I'm not aware of any other specific advantages, but I'd love to hear them if you're willing to share.

          Whether the benefits outweigh the hassle of changing d

    • by Eevee (535658)

      Missing completely is of course something about CowboyNeal.

      Or, sickening as it may be, "None of your business where I put my hands!" is the CowboyNeal option.

    • 4:00 and 8:00 is the most comfortable, and the safest. In the event of a wreck, you want your arms clear of the airbag. 2:00 and 10:00 is the old way and is needlessly exhausting on the arms.
      • by tompaulco (629533)
        2 and 10 is not exhausting on the arms. It is the position which gives you the most control and is the easiest to steer. If you are at 4 and 8, in order to steer, you have to fight gravity. At 10 and 2, you can hook your thumbs into the wheel spoke and just let your arms hang. When you need to steer, you have gravity on your side. At 10 and 2 the airbag should not be a problem. If you are gripping the wheel properly, with the thumb hooked, then your forearms are slightly outside the rim of the wheel and are
  • poor options. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    1) Regular driving / shifting / cruising usually 1 hand at 6.
    2) aggressive driving 11 / 5 or 1 / 7
    3) driving without any control and needing lots of small corrections due to drifting, hydroplaning, etc. (blizzards, thunderstorms), 9 / 3 or 8 /4 ish

    Course, driving a car is something of a special occasion for me...

    • by arth1 (260657)

      2) aggressive driving 11 / 5 or 1 / 7

      For me, it's left hand at 7:30 and right hand at anywhere from 10 to 12, but moving as needed and doing shifts. The steering wheel is lowered.

      When driving aggressively, some of the point is to minimize tight turn radii, or large steering wheel movements if you like. You want to have maximum speed leaving any turn, which is easier if you adjust the entry and exit from the turns to as large a turn radius as possible.
      So while I make most steering adjustments with the right hand, the left holds a good grip on

  • One hand? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SQLGuru (980662) on Monday March 26, 2012 @11:00AM (#39474375) Journal

    I'm usually driving with one hand.....between 9:45 and 12:00 if my left or 11:00 and 3:00 if my right.

  • I put my left hand around 7:30. My fear is not my arms being thrown about on airbag deployment but what would happen if I was taking a drink while it did. Lodging that can of redbull into my face at the speed of a bullet doesn't sound pleasant. So I usually tilt my head a bit to the right to prevent this.

  • Missing Option (Score:5, Interesting)

    by djbckr (673156) on Monday March 26, 2012 @11:30AM (#39474783)
    Usually one hand, at 6:00. Unless needing to do more maneuvering like at an intersection or other sharp turn. I feel it's safer in case the airbag needs to deploy...
    • by dae1 (981472)
      Agreed. It's 6 o'clock for relaxed driving and when serious I go 12 o'clock.
    • by cobbaut (232092)

      Indeed, left hand at 6:00, right hand on her legs.

    • by Whalou (721698)

      Usually one hand, at 6:00. [...] I feel it's safer in case the airbag needs to deploy...

      Nothing says safe like banging yourself in the nuts when the airbag deploys.

    • by CyberDong (137370)

      Also the safest place to hold the wheel on long drives. If you fall asleep while driving, you'll continue straight along.... But if you're one-handing it at 12 o'clock, you'll be headed for the ditch in no time.

  • by BlackPignouf (1017012) on Monday March 26, 2012 @11:42AM (#39474917)

    No car for me, thank you.

    I use trains, trams, buses, bicycles and longboards.
    So my hands are usually on a book, a nintendo DS or a Rubik's cube.

    You know, peak oil, climate change and all that....
    Moreover, my leisure and transportation times are overlapping, which wouldn't be the case while driving a car.

    • by xaxa (988988) on Monday March 26, 2012 @01:21PM (#39476127)

      No car for me, thank you.

      I use trains, trams, buses, bicycles and longboards.

      I learn to ride a bicycle when I was a child, but I never got to play in the street with friends ("you don't know what could happen!"). So, I never learnt to ride with no hands.

      I'm leaving work in 5 minutes. If you see someone, on a quite (empty) residential road in London, trying -- but failing -- to ride hands-free, that's probably me.

      • Start by riding with your hands around but not touching the handle bars. As you gain confidence, lean back more and more. Steering with your weight works well.

        I used to ride leaning way back until one day my saddle tilted backwards and left me standing for an instant in the middle of the road while my bike careened down the hill without me. Lesson: make sure your saddle is very secure and don't lean too far backwards...

    • by Drethon (1445051)
      I would love to take the bus to work and do work on my laptop on the way there and back. The trip takes 20 minutes by car and if it took up to 40 I'd use the bus but it takes an hour and twenty minutes for the best bus route with two miles of walking thrown in. Now I don't mind walking but my laptop isn't setup for use while walking and walking adds significantly to that hour and twenty minute trip...
      • by tompaulco (629533)
        Same here. I have a 20 minute drive. If I take the bus, I have to walk two and a half miles past a bad neighborhood to get to the bus stop, switch buses at the transit center, and then I have a two and a half mile walk from the closest bus station to my workplace. Altogether, it would be a three hour and forty minute trip in, with about one and half hours of that being walking. Oh, it is also only 18 miles from my house, so I could probably walk the whole thing in about half an hour longer than the "bus"
    • This.
      I don't drive because I never felt the need to do so.
      Long distance travel is being done by airplane, train, bus.
      Within the city I use public transportation or walk (if the distance is under 2 miles or so).

      There are situations when I need a ride (e.g. when taking my son to a doctor's appointment) and then I take a cab.

      Oh and I don't have a driver's license either.

  • depends... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tom (822) on Monday March 26, 2012 @11:51AM (#39475023) Homepage Journal

    It really depends.

    During city driving, somewhere between 8/9 and 3/4.
    During long-distance Autobahn driving, much closer to 6.
    With a pretty girl beside me, one at 6 and the other... well, not on the wheel.

    • by Drethon (1445051)
      The other is fondling your imagination? (Sorry but we all know how all slashdotters are...)
    • During long-distance Autobahn driving, much closer to 6.

      This pretty much guarantees loss of control if something happens (puncture, road debris, pothole).

      • by Tom (822)

        You missed the word "Autobahn". We don't have potholes there, road debris I can see from a few kilometers away (even with heavy traffic, I'd see the other cars moving to avoid it) and a puncture, frankly if a tire blows at > 200 km/h then steering control is the least of my worries.

  • I usually drive with one (left) hand (in America). Up until my current car I've always driven manual transmission vehicles. If it is comfortable I'll rest my elbow on the door and usually hold the wheel between 7 and 9. My current car is has no good place to rest my elbow, so I lock my arm straight out and hold the wheel at about the 10 position.

    Whether you drive with one hand or two. When you are about to get into an accident you will most likely be using two hands. I've had the airbags deploy in my v

    • by Anrego (830717) *

      Airbags do seem useless in some crashes, life savers in others, and in cases like the one you relate, actually make things worse. I like to think they are probably a good thing more often then not, but you do hear stories like this and it kinda worries me.

      My current car is has no good place to rest my elbow, so I lock my arm straight out and hold the wheel at about the 10 position.

      My Honda Civic has this one _nailed_ for me. Center console and door rest are at the absolute perfect height to rest my elbows on while steering casually somewhere in the 8/4 to 7/5 range. It's seriously the most comfortable car I've ever driven. And no I'

  • I'm all over the clock face. Mostly 9:30 and 2:30, where the contours of the wheel form a natural grip. Sometimes I'm at the 12:00 position with one, either or both hands. Sometimes I'll have my left arm out the window (North American) and will grip the wheel at about 10:00 with my left hand, or my right arm on the arm rest and grip the wheel with my right at about 4:00; sometimes both. Sometimes I'll have my hands on the center bar/spoke. Sometimes at 6:00, sometimes at 5:00 and 7:00. Other times, I'
  • I drive standard, so sometimes, when doing city driving, I have my left hand on the wheel at 6 o'clock, with my right hand on the gearshift, ready to change gears if necessary.

    • 6 oclock is tricky to learn how to drive with at first, but once you know how, it feels more comfortable than any other style. I used to own a 74 Nova, and loved it. Now I own a car that has an airbag support there. /first world problem
  • Holding my hands at 2 and 10 is OK, but I find that I tend to hold on to the parts of the steering wheel that connect the center of the wheel to the outer wheel. I hook my fingers on the branches and the wheel at the same time. I feel I have more control then.

  • by CubicleZombie (2590497) on Monday March 26, 2012 @12:40PM (#39475635)

    Hey, for once it's relevant.
  • So I drive a car with a manual transmission. That means that for the most part if I'm driving long distances on the highway, and I drive about 700 miles a week, I usually have my left hand (US driver here) at the 6'oclock position, and right hand on the gearstick, or fiddling with the radio, or just resting. Sometimes when I want to rest my left arm on the door, I switch to the 8 or 9 o'clock position.

    But that's during long stretches on the highway. On local roads, as well as during heavy highway traffic

    • I think we all have done that. All meaning people who learned on a standard and drove an autotragic for the first time. The only thing I do now is leave it in gear and wonder why I can't get the key out.
    • by SkimTony (245337)

      The old Dodge Caravans used to have really, really wide brake pedals, that extended over to where the clutch should have been. That led to a lot of fun arguments in the car...

  • Noon and shifter (Score:3, Interesting)

    by anethema (99553) on Monday March 26, 2012 @01:03PM (#39475901) Homepage
    How about I put one hand at the top of the wheel and the other on my shifter since I drive a manual, you insensitive clods!
    • Keeping a hand on the shifter is pointless most of the time. You spend much more time steering than changing gears. With 2 hands on the wheel you have a better default position because you've got more control authority in emergencies.

      That also goes for putting your hands on the lower quadrants of the wheel: you lose control authority/need to apply more force to change direction.

  • My commute is so standard that sometimes I do not even remember how I got from home to the office.

  • a near uniform distribution of grip locations across the steering wheel.....I expected the results to imply a natural preference in hand position.

    why is the pole always talking about 2 hand placement? I usually drive with one hand.

    • by Anrego (830717) *

      And for slackers like me.. the car itself. My current car (Honda Civic) has the arm rests perfectly positioned for an 8/4 to 9/3 casual "two fingers on the wheel" driving experience. Previous car I usually rested my left arm on the window frame so usually one hand at 10 or so. Aggressive driving I usually go back to 10 and 2.

  • It's springtime on my half of the hemisphere, I drive a motorcycle with my hands on the left and right handlebars :)
  • but now I have Cake's "Stickshifts and Safety Belts" stuck in my head.

  • 9 and 3, all others are doing it wrong. Did you know that 10 and 2 was never an official recommendation? Just an urban legend, it's always been 9 and 3.

  • I have multiple disabilities. Someone else does the driving! :P

  • by who_stole_my_kidneys (1956012) on Monday March 26, 2012 @03:22PM (#39477559)
    then you would have your forearms at 11:55 and 12:05 while texing on your iPhone "OMG i the new iPhone came out i gotta get...."
  • I tend to drive 11 and 5, keeps my right hand closer to the shifter.

  • A single hand covers both 2 and 4, you insensitive clod!

  • I place my hands at the time I start driving. Seems silly to limit using your hands to specific times of day. You should place them when you start driving, and keep them placed for the majority of the time you're driving.

    And if those are supposed to be start-and-stop times, well, I rarely drive for five hours straight (10 till 2).

  • ..and I use a joystick [], you insensitive clod!
  • by WillKemp (1338605) on Tuesday March 27, 2012 @03:54AM (#39482121) Homepage

    I drive fucking big dump trucks (6m high, 6m wide, 11m long) in an open cut mine. They have a retarder lever on the right hand side of the steering column, which you use to brake, so i steer with my left hand (at about 9 o'clock) and keep my right hand free to brake with.

  • by Alien1024 (1742918) on Tuesday March 27, 2012 @08:38AM (#39483301)
    At 14 and 22 you insensitive clod.
  • Left hand for signaling....
    Two wheels: FJR1300

  • My car has a manual transmission and no power steering. My arms and shoulders are relaxed so I can drive long distance in relative comfort.

    I sit closer to the wheel than most people - a byproduct of the high-performance driving courses I took many years ago that taught to drive with your biceps and not your shoulders. Unfortunately in cars with airbags I have to remember to sit farther back than I prefer.

    With hands at the bottom of the wheel I can turn it over a half-turn either direction in an instant with

  • and shifting or right hand at 6 o'clock if driving an automatic transmission. With airbags, that's just about the safest palce to be. If the road is slick, it's 2 hands at 4 and 8 o'clock.

If you think the system is working, ask someone who's waiting for a prompt.


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