Hello and welcome to episode six of the Racing is life – driving techniques – series, here on the dreamactsucceed.blog. My name is Andi and I am your driving instructor for today.
Oh god, that was horrible! But anyways, today, we will talk about steering.
Rule 1: Two hands at the steering wheel
The only exception, you only have one hand. But for all the others, there are two hands at the wheel, all the time. All the time? No, of course not, you probably need to shift sometimes, or change the radio frequency, or do what ever you do in the car. But, the moment you start to drive just for the sake of driving, there are two hands at the steering wheel.
Rule 2: The hands are in the correct position
Your hands are at the right position. While for some this means probably to put the right hand at a 12 o’clock position and the left arm hanging outside the window, your hands should be at a 9:30 and 2:30 position. If you like to wrap your thumbs around the wheel at the cross link or not is totally up to you, but you can also just move your hands a little bit up, getting closer to ten and avoid the cross link at all.
Rule 3: The proper turning movement
If you like washing plates, then please, go ahead and start working in a kitchen man, but in a car, you don’t do that! Do you understand? I guess, I need to repeat that, because you are probably a BMW driver. So, I repeat! Don’t do that! Ok? You turn the wheel as much as you physically can, while having both hands at their correct position. This is the steering angle you can do, without the need to change your hand position. So, why should you change your hand position earlier, right?
Pro tip: Your car is actually predictable, its a machine that reacts to certain parameters. If you are not sure if you can take the next corner without changing your hand position, then simply try it out, but next time you will know for sure.
In case there is actually a need for you to change the hand position, because you need even a larger steering angle, you basically turn the steering wheel into one direct, for example the left, until your left hand is getting closer to your right forearm. Shortly before it reaches your other arm, you put your left hand from the wheel, going over the whole wheel from the left, and grabbing the same spot as before at the wheel again. Now you can go on with turning, having another 9:30 hand position, but 360° to the left. Of course you can go on turning the wheel until its end stop position and then back in basically the same way, but with the right hand needing to make the change.
Turning to the left –> the left hand needs to change the position
Turning to the right –> the right hand needs to change the position
It is actually not that easy to do pretty quick at the beginning, therefore I highly recommend you to practice that, because there is no way, that you will become good at driving, without being ultra quick at the steering wheel. This will be your life insurance!!! And if you think, that you are already quick, than good lord will you be quick in a year of practicing.
But I haven’t really mentioned why this thing is so important to do. I mean, you survived without using that technique, right? And yes, that is correct, but the thing is, you actually need it. Why? Because you need to know for sure in which direction your wheels are pointing. If you have ever experienced an oversteering situation in your car, where your rear wheels spun around, letting your car drift, then you know how important it is to know, where your wheels are looking at. You can not possibly catch a car, if you do not know in which direction your tires are pointing. That is just a fact. So, keep working on that and you will see, car control is just a matter of practicing. But before practicing, you need to make sure, that you are doing the turning of the wheel in the right way.
Pro tip: Start slowly and get the movements into your muscle memory. After that, you will be ultra quick, believe me!
Rule 4: Pushing instead of pulling
If you turn to the right, the left hand is guiding the wheel. Pushing a little bit more then the right hand is pulling. Why? Because you want to feel the feedback from the suspension and especially the tires. If you turn to the left, it is of course the right hand, that is doing the harder part of the job. This is a kind of a tricky thing to do, especially, if you are used to do it in a different way, but actually it will help you to understand better, what the tires are currently doing. This will support you on your mission to get a better understanding of and connection to your tires, allowing you to communicate with them in a much better way.
And this is it for today.
See you next time!
Engineer, Motorsport Enthusiast, becoming an Entrepreneur, Author and just different