Both hands on the wheel

Hands on WheelWhen I learned to drive a car, many years ago, I was told to always keep both hands on the steering wheel, which I pretty much do.  But in the past year or so, I’ve been in cars with people whom I know to be safe, conservative drivers generally, and who yet start their cars from a standing position with both hands raised in midair.  As the car starts forward, they let the hands slowly fall to the steering wheel.  Sometimes they’ll take their hands off the wheel when the car is moving straight forward.  Many of the people who drive like this are people I regard as conservative, safe drivers.

It seems strange that I never noticed anybody driving without hands on the wheel before, and now many people seem to be doing it.  Am I right in thinking this is something that is becoming common?  Am I right in thinking this started just started a few years ago?  How did this new habit come into being?

Later.  I was driving downtown today and saw a bicycle rider in front of me, in heavy traffic, with one hand on the handlebars and the other holding a cell phone to his ear, on which he evidently was carrying on an animated conversation.   I tried to steer as clear of him as I could, but this was hard to do in the traffic.

I do agree with Radley Balko in thinking that the traffic laws, rather than prohibiting behavior likely to lead to unsafe driving, should be aimed at unsafe driving itself.

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2 Responses to “Both hands on the wheel”

  1. Anne Tanner Says:

    Like a lot of your friends and relatives, probably, I’m now thinking, “Hmm…. I know I drove with him in the car when he visited here. Now where were my hands when I started the car …”


    • philebersole Says:

      No, Anne, I’m not thinking of you.

      This is something I first noticed a year or two ago, first in Rochester and then visiting San Antonio. But I can be unobservant sometimes. Something can be around a long time before I notice it.


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