The objective was to study hand position on the steering wheel during driving and differences in hand position within and between the genders.
This cross-sectional pilot study was conducted in Ornskoldsvik, Sweden. Photos were taken of drivers on a public road with a speed limit of 70 km/h, and hand position and gender were registered.
Hand positions on the steering wheel with one or both hands in a 10 minutes to 2 o'clock position is common, males 55 percent and females 64 percent, during low-risk driving conditions. Symmetric (left-right) hand positions, at 9 and 3, 10 and 2, and finally 11 and 1 o'clock are rare, 6 percent among males and 12 percent among females.
The results call for further studies of hand position on the steering wheel during naturalistic driving in traffic areas where rear-end impacts are frequent, particularly because upper hand position might affect spinal posture and thereby increased backset distance between the back of the head and the head restraint (backset), which influences neck injury risk in rear-end impacts.