The Standard Steering Techniques and How They Work

If you want to improve your driving skills, learning the steering techniques is a must. Steering is the process of directing a vehicle by turning the wheel. By understanding the different methods of steering input, you can adjust your driving accordingly and improve your safety on the road.

We’ll outline the steering control techniques and input and why they’re necessary for safe driving. We’ll also provide tips on how to improve your steering skills. Are you ready to learn how to steer like a pro?

Explaining the Types of Steering Techniques

Applying the correct technique can help you control the car precisely, making it easier to navigate your way around any obstacles or traffic. You’ll be able to make better decisions on the go, avoiding accidents or traffic jams.

The three types of steering input techniques are:

Hand-to-Hand Steering

Also known as push/pull steering, the method requires you to place your hands on the steering wheel. Imagine it like a wall clock and grab the wheel between 4 and 5 o’clock with the right hand. The left hand’s position will be between 7 and 8 o’clock.

Then, use your hands to push and pull the wheel in different directions to steer the car. For example, when you push the wheel up with the left hand, the right hand should grab the wheel to pull it down.

steering technique
Push/pull steering technique. Image credit: Whiting Hagg & Dorsey, LLP

It’s the safest technique to keep your face, arms, and hands safe in the event of a front crash. Since the hands never cross on the wheel, the airbag has enough space to inflate during an accident.

The push/pull is the most common of all steering techniques. You should always use this technique unless a particular situation demands another method.

Hand-over-Hand Steering

Driving a car means facing some challenging situations and difficult driving conditions. The hand-over-hand steering technique is for handling all those complicated situations.

Grab the steering wheel between 3 and 4 o’clock with the right hand and between 8 and 9 o’clock with the left hand. When you clutch the wheel with, for example, the right hand and push up, reach across and grip the wheel with the left hand. Pull the wheel with the left hand in the required direction (up, down, or over).

After doing this, bring the right hand back to its original position. The hand position will be reversed depending on the direction you want to move the car.

It’s the ideal technique for low-speed driving with limited visibility, parking the vehicle, or pulling the car back to the track after a skid.

One-Hand Steering

This steering technique is the most suitable when you need to operate a control switch with one hand. For example, think of using the control accessories, including windshield wipers, lights, and other things. In these cases, you must reach out for the accessory switch with one hand.

You must keep your other hand on the steering wheel. Keep it between 8 and 9 o’clock for the left hand or between 3 and 4 o’clock for the right hand. It prevents the car from darting across the road, keeps steering reversal in control, and makes the car more stable in the current position.

One-hand steering is the standard technique when backing the vehicle to the right or left direction. When doing this, the hand on the steering wheel should be in the 12 o’clock position.


Which Factors Affect Vehicle Steering?

Despite applying the correct technique, the vehicle may sometimes not respond to the input. It means that there could be some mechanical problems affecting the steering.

The reasons for these issues could be:

  1. A loose or tight steering linkage connection prevents the wheel’s effort from transmitting to the knuckles. There should not be more or less play in the joint.
  2. Shock absorbers are an integral part of controlling a car. It prevents wheel bouncing and helps suspension to absorb uneven road bumps. You will need to fix or replace them if they are in bad condition.
  3. Misaligned wheels make it difficult to control the vehicle. Correct alignment ensures the car’s smooth operation and rolling without any obstruction on the road.
  4. All four tires should have the perfect air pressure. Over-inflation will make handling quite challenging, resulting in wobbling and losing control of the car. Under-inflation is equally problematic as it will cause hard steering.
  5. The adjustment of wheel bearings has to be precise. Too much play will mess with the wheel alignment, while less play will result in hard steering.


So, these are the steering techniques you need to apply when driving on the road. You should learn them at the beginning of your driving journey. Otherwise, it will be challenging to unlearn the incorrect techniques and develop proper habits. Remember that you won’t pass the driving examination without showing your examiner the correct methods.