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How to Steer a Car Correctly :: Step-by-Step Instructions

How to Steer a Car Correctly :: Step-by-Step Instructions


[TITLE & MUSIC] 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 gonna do that. I’m just gonna 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. 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 gonna 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 gonna 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. 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. We’re just gonna 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. 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. 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. 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 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. 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. 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 palmsm 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. 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. 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. we’re not putting this in the video [CLOSING CREDITS & MUSIC]

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100 thoughts on “How to Steer a Car Correctly :: Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. I watch your car driving lessons over and over they are so helpful im starting my lessons tomorrow. thank u for these videos please keep them up

  2. I believe that in the UK "Push,Pull" (hand to hand) is taught in anticipation of drivers going on to drive heavier vehicles' with a flatter steering wheel. Most people give it up one they've passed their "practical test" though! 🙂

  3. I notice you release the steering wheel after turning it then catch it. My driving teacher tells me not to release-catch after turning it but it's hard.

  4. I really struggle to steer and keep a safe road position I keep drifting off and I don't know what I can do to help myself

  5. Thankyouuuu so much. Your vd help me alot. Im quite scared when i hv to do a turn bcs my skill is still lacking as im just taking the driving lesson. But after watching ur vd, it help me alot

  6. Is the hand-over-hand steering method allowed on the road test in British Columbia? Because I heard a rumor that it wasn't and I largely prefer it to the hand-to-hand method.

  7. hello! your videos are so clear. i would just like to request you to show me what to do if i'm stuck while driving in a high road. thank you

  8. Hi, I am using my sons iPad. My name is Praveen. I failed my test 🙁 the only mistake she found as she said my turns were slow. I wanted to be only safe. Any tips please on that.

  9. You are a GREAT communicator! I am 62 have been a 35 year driver and a year as a taxi driver, where these guys taught me so much. I lost my left eye last year and I have to take my driving test soon. Your videos will really help. Thx

  10. i keep failing due to one reason which is poor control of the steering wheel. could you plz do a video on how to change lanes when the traffic is heavy

  11. i understand different roads have different angles, could you please do a video regarding how much to steer the wheel while turning right/left, and when roughly to steer the wheel back? for me,, while i am driving, i cant remember whether i have turned half a wheel or a whole wheel …… I know i suck at driving. Thank you!

  12. Thank you ! I have been watching your videos as I prepare for my first road test. They've been very useful to me.

  13. Here in Argentina there is no specific steering technique required… As long as you can parallel park and start from a ramp without rolling back you are good to drive ..

  14. Hi Rick, thank you so much for all your help..im a beginner and I'm from Jamaica where we drive on the left , however our roads have a a lot of corners, and I'm having trouble turning, sometimes I don't know how much to turn depending on the corner but I'm positive and your videos are giving me a lot of confidence

  15. Hi, are you able to do a video on how far to turn the steering wheel in curves on the road and freeway?

  16. In Connecticut, I have to do the hand-over-hand to turn the wheel and to straighten it back using that same method. 🙁

  17. omg i hate hand to hand i almost crashed well not really but when i turn its a weak turn it just feels unnatural

  18. Going for my road test soon. Been watching these videos to help out with my anxiety actually. Thanks for the great videos. Also how do you find the 45 Degree marker in your vehicle. Biggest hurdle for me is Parallel Parking.

  19. Hi Rick! I watched your videos on paralel parking and how to pass your road test first time. I did passed the road test in my first time. My weakest point was changing lanes. I need to practice on that. Thanks for all your videos.

  20. Controlling the steering wheel is difficult for me. I have had a couple of lessons so far. I have no experience with cars (I might as well be piloting a plane) and my instructors speak to me as if I should know the right amount of control to have with a steering wheel this early on, particularly when it comes to turns and parking and they aren't particularly helpful with only letting me practice for wheel control (and getting comfortable with the proper amount of pressure to apply to the pedals). I can't feel when the car is straight or not (with parallel parking). I guess it is just going to take practice, but I worry that they are only teaching to pass the test rather than ensuring I truly understand and feel comfortable with how to maneuver the car. All my lessons have been very early in the morning when there are very few cars on the road because I just don't feel confident in controlling the wheel enough. I live in NYC by the way and I learn in a very specific way and the way they teach is not really conducive to the way I typically learn. I don't really have drivers in my life to let me practice so I can only rely on these professional schools and even when telling them that I am really a novice and am not comfortable with the workings of the car, they still just put me on the road and expect me to understand how to control the car in a mediocre way in actual traffic. Then they tell me rules while I am trying to focus on controlling the wheel without practice and they think I am retaining what they are saying when I am focusing on the basics that I should have been learning and feeling comfortable with beforehand. It's very difficult for me. I feel like it will take me forever and much, much money before I even remotely feel comfortable taking my road test. It's very aggravating. Thank you for these videos. They do help me to visualize in my mind before my actual lessons.

  21. On the actual road test is it good to just let the wheel go back to its normal position on its own with my hands still on the wheel or use the hand over hand technique to put the wheel back to normal position i live in new york

  22. Thank you for these videos. I have twin boys that just got there drivers permits. I will have them watch your videos and then practice what they saw on the videos. Great videos.

  23. I was struggling with my driving practice. But with your videos its so so helpful i am getting much better and smoother. Thanks so much Rick! Keep up the good work! you're awesome!!

  24. watching you do the hand-over-hand maneuver was much easier to understand compared to my driving instructor (not saying he's a bad teacher, you just explained it in a way I could understand)! thanks!

  25. wondering if you have a video on when to brake, i have a terrible tendency to either not start braking early enough and going over the line or braking too early

  26. No way to drive with two hands for me. I always drive with one hand (left hand) , even when going too fast and overtaking i cant do it with two hands .
    I tried but i dont feel comfortable .

  27. one examiner in Oshawa, Ontario pointed my student to recover the steering manually or by-force and asked not to let steering wheel spins back automatically by relaxing the grip. This is the first time it happened and I have never heard about it before… please shed some light if possible.

  28. I see some turning the wheel like 2 or 3 times when i do it hit the sideway. Am i doing it wrong do i turn 1 time when I'm turning i

  29. Hi Rick Can you make a video on Steering while Parallel parking? I'm a new Driver and I'm preparing for my Road Test and I want to practice Parallel parking

  30. I've been doing hand-over-hand with previous road tests, but today my examiner failed me for doing hand-over-hand. He told me to do the hand-to-hand (shuffling) method, and made sure I know it was the only right way to turn the wheel. I couldn't disagree more, but I did not want to start an argument.

  31. Hi Rick!I want you to make a video about getting out of a tight parallel parking space.Im new driver and I have difficulties to understand the volume of my vehicle. I don't know how close I am from the parking vehicles in front and behind me.If you have any tips about that please tell me!!

  32. Hey Rick (me again) in Australia we do push-pull (hand-to-hand) for light vehicles because we don't want to have our arms between the airbag in the centre of the steering wheel and our face if there's a frontal collision when turning across traffic etc.

  33. Here in Czech Republic uses hand-over-hand as just like you're explaination, it is advised to always hold the steering wheel.

  34. When I am driving I am told i am moving the wheel too much…over steering …how can i correct this in preparation for road test

  35. Greetings from India! I think hand over hand is quite helpful and easy for beginners and intermediates. Hand to hand requires a bit more practice than it.

  36. Hi Rick, your videos helped me a lot. I just passed my drive test today on my first try like 3 hours ago here in California. The examiner told me i moved the steering wheel a lot and i should work more on my hand over hand steering. Also I was not able to angle park properly by the end of the exam. but he let me passed anyway. Can you give me an advice on the proper way to accelarate after the turn? The examiner told me i was pressing the accelerator a lot while turning. thank you

  37. I got my license four days ago but I promised myself I would come back to thank you for your videos. I didn’t get it the first time because I hit the curb but I went home and scheduled for another test exactly two weeks later and passed with no mistakes. I bet it’s good to know that when you pass, you’ll have a flood of people who’ll be thanking you for your videos and wishing you a peaceful rest. Your videos will be your legacy

  38. Many people put their palm at one point on the steering wheel and move it all the way to right or left as required by using just one hand. That's smoother and quicker than hand over hand technique but is not recommended. Why ?

  39. We have to use hand to hand for the test in the uk but once everyone passes their test they switch to hand over hand ✌🏼

  40. for the purposes of a road test is it bad to let the wheel spin on it's own like how he does in the video? I have a habit of doing that too.

  41. Hi rick, I’m planning to take my road test, do you have any idea for surrey BC, are we allowed by hand over hand? – thank u in advance 🙂

  42. Hello, first of all I just wanted to say that your videos are simply amazing. I will be giving my road test next week and you have cleared so many things for me. Just a quick question, can I be failed in a road test in Alberta for turning using hand-to-hand technique instead of hand-over-hand?

  43. Sometimes it can be a bit rocket science to maneuver the steering wheel by default (hand over hand). I have been looking at some steering techniques, some that are easier to do for beginner/safe drivers. I hope I'll manage to pan my driving class out, come the time I take it. First I have to get myself squared away with DMV.

    Thanks for the excellent tips regardless, Mr. Rick! 😀 Much support and love for your videos!

  44. I have trouble with hand over hand steering like I all ways get my hands crossed how do I break this habit?

  45. Will I fail my road test if I don't do hand-over-hand when turning? I am taking my test in a couple of days (in Alberta), but just realized I have never practiced hand-over-hand and don't feel comfortable doing it. Will they fail me for it? Is it okay to just turn without doing it?

  46. If air bag explodes, hand over hand would cause severe injury on the face since arm or hand could hit the face of the driver. What's your opinion on that?

  47. My bad I wasn't steering like this so I needed to see how it's done properly having both my hands at the 6 position actually relaxes me to drive without being nervous

  48. The hand-over-hand technique is the one that's required for my road test (I would think so, since I was taught how to do that). That is required for my road test as I would understand. I have never heard of hand-to-hand before. Thanks for sharing!

  49. Great video.
    I'm worried because I have mild cerebral palsy in my right side (mostly only affects the right arm) I have been too scared to learn how to drive because of my disability for years now and turning is one of the biggest issues I think i'm going to have.. living in northern BC doesn't help much because you pretty much need your license.
    I really don't know what i'm going to do.

  50. They do teach hand to hand in North America but is usually in EVOC Courses meaning if you are learning how to drive an emergency vehicle like a fire engine, a police cruiser, or an ambulance.

  51. You are doing a great service, sir. Thank you. I had a question specifically about steering. I am finding that I have no trouble doing a left turn from, say, an intersection. However, right turns, especially after having come to a total stop at a stop sign, is proving still a bit of a problem for me. I am finding that when making a right turn, I am not accustomed to doing a proper hand-over-hand turn. So, when turning right, do you normally push with your left hand first or pull down with your right hand first?

  52. Thank you for your video. U help me so much. I have a question. How many hours for maximum to take for turn left and right to hav a good experiance?

  53. Seems like you in the left side . I think this driving not suitable for me where i live now. Thanks for teaching. Goodnight

  54. hi rick..just a quick question…i'm a petite lady,is it ok to use a pillow to sit in during driving exam,for a more comfortable driving and better road surveying?thanks and more power!hoping for a response soon.

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