Chapter 6 – Steering wheel techniques
Steering wheel techniques in manoeuvring and at low speeds
These techniques have never been disclosed to the public at large and have remained reserved for certain professional drivers, especially members of the police and high-security drivers of heads of state, in order that their skills and quickness may be superior to those of criminals lacking their knowledge and training.
This technique makes it possible to move the vehicle sideways in the fastest possible manner both in maneuvering and at low speeds, using the power of the vehicle and its technical capacities. It is therefore up to the driver discovering this new way of turning his steering wheel for the first time to use it carefully and with precision. Gestures must remain smooth and be in line with the direction in which the driver is looking, which systematically leads to the vehicle going where it should. The use of this technique at high speeds, especially on slippery surfaces such as snow or ice, should never be used.
For drivers of very powerful vehicles, which normally over steer, these gestures must not be accompanied by sudden or uncontrolled acceleration, since this runs the risk of destabilizing the vehicle. This technique should be left to trained driving professionals who spend their lives in cars. Newcomers to the technique will always use it with discretion, for their own comfort and not to terrorize other drivers.
I always advise starting to learn the technique with the car stationery and the motor running in order to operate the assisted steering, for a perfect understanding of this new principle regarding the handling of the steering wheel.
Once this movement has been understood and mastered – obviously after looking in the side mirrors and in the direction desired, followed by the use of indicators before pulling out – this technique can be of use to you in extreme emergencies in order to avoid an obstacle at low speed if you feel that your braking distance in relation to the obstacle is insufficient.
This technique is a last resort since an excellent driver never uses his reflexes because his capacity for anticipation is sufficient never to be obliged to use them.
You are correctly seated as described earlier and you have just installed yourself in a balanced fashion behind your steering wheel.
You want to turn your steering wheel to the right and have started by placing your left hand at the most balanced position possible, that is, nine o’clock.
It goes without saying that your vehicle was initially parked with the steering straight ahead and all four wheels precisely in their respective axes. Your steering wheel has also been adjusted and balanced (centered) so as to have the greatest respect possible for the steering geometry, according to the car maker’s original norms.
Your thumb is tangential to the steering wheel and pointing upwards.
On no account must your thumb move inside the steering wheel and must never enclose it.
The palm of your hand is round the steering wheel, without tension and as relaxed as possible.
The four fingers hold the steering wheel from behind, but not too tightly. You press slightly with the fleshiest part of the hand (just below the thumb) on the steering wheel.
In turning the wheel, you relax your four fingers very slightly, you squeeze the steering wheel a bit more tightly with the fleshy part of your hand and make an upward movement with the hand on the steering wheel.
As your hand moves upwards towards 11 o’clock, you will feel that your fingers and the inside of your hand are holding the steering wheel more and more tightly.
You tighten your hold – without overdoing it – on your steering wheel and continue round towards 12 o’clock.
At this point you will start to gradually open your hand and place it flat on the rim of the steering wheel moving towards one o’clock.
When you arrive at one o’clock, this is precisely the moment when your hand is completely open.
You continue to press with the flat of your hand, the part most to the left and to the bottom of your hand, on your steering wheel in order to bring it down to four o’clock.
The fingers are all in line with the hand, perfectly straight and close together.
The thumb is itself perfectly flat and exactly in line with its articulation.
You press sufficiently firmly on your steering wheel with the lower end of your palm in order to remain entirely in control of your vehicle and your steering, while moving down to six o’clock through four o’clock in this manner.
When you arrive at six o’clock, your hand is still wide open and the internal lower edge of your hand is still pressing on the steering wheel.
When you arrive at six o’clock precisely, your hand must again be perfectly flat with the four fingers pointing upwards (precisely towards 11 o’clock) and the thumb towards two o’clock.
From now on, between six o’clock and seven o’clock your hand rests flat on the steering wheel, while trying to make it move upwards.
When you arrive at around seven o’clock, while still pivoting your hand on the steering wheel in order to move it upwards, you start to close your hand again on the steering wheel in order to get a firm grip on it again with flexibility and determination.
This means that you really take your steering wheel in your grip again as at the starting point of nine o’clock, enabling you to perform exactly the same movement through to the automatic and similar end of this maneuver.
The final movement will be to place the hand of flat and open on the steering wheel.
It is normal to notice that the hand has shifted on the steering wheel and remains several centimeters away from its starting point.
All that is necessary is to go through these same movements in the other direction to bring your steering and your wheels straight and back to the starting point.