Steering – do you prepare or not?

steeringSteering- I think I’m right in saying this is the most commonly marked less serious fault which is not surprising as we have to put the car in the correct position all the time so we need to be in control of the steering all the time. Now I know many instructors are perhaps overly regimental in how steering “should” be done whereas we know that examiners are not too concerned as long as it is smooth and under control. If you have a portly tummy or large legs getting in the way then you just have to do what works for you. There are many who will not be able to get anywhere near the 6 oclock position for instance

What do I mean by preparing?
Well if you look at this video for instance then the driver is steering perfectly well but does not prepare her hands ready to turn briskly. Only on the 3rd movement does she put her hands high ready for the next movement. So the first movement isn’t turning the wheel very far, certainly not as far as it could have been and a woefully small arc of perhaps only 2 hours of the clock face if you are restricted by knees or tummy

Whereas I tend to “reach up ready” to turn the wheel BEFORE i get to the turning point of a junction and can easily put a half turn on the wheel all in one go and let’s face it, most side turnings left or right are going to take at least 1/2 turn of the wheel and without delay
This video demonstrates steering with that preparing ready to turn:

I also think where you put your thumbs is particularly important to help your steering control but again, I’m not over tough with it as some people have very long thumbs :happy3: I usually ask someone “Can you just hold this pen for me” – but then add “without using your thumbs”. This gets the point across and I like them to have at least some of their thumbprint on the wheel as it gives noticeable better control

Anyway, do you teach your drivers to prepare their hands ready for brisk steering?

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