The Importance of Driving Skills

Driving is a skill that must be learned and honed to ensure safety on the roads. This is important for professional drivers, as well as student drivers.


Driving skills involve interacting with other people on the road, navigating to different destinations and obeying traffic laws. It also involves handling challenging situations, working under pressure and mindfully acting if an accident occurs.

Hands-On-The-Wheel Position

The hands-on-the-wheel position is an essential part of driving skills. It enables you to maintain balance on the steering wheel and avoid veering into the road or into traffic. It also helps you activate controls such as your headlights, windshield wipers and turn signals.

When you first get your driver’s license, you probably learned to place your hands at the 10 and 2 o’clock positions on the steering wheel, which is also called the “hand-over-hand” steering method. It is no longer recommended by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, however, because it can be dangerous in vehicles with smaller steering wheels and air bags.

Today, the NHTSA suggests lowering your hands a bit to the 9 and 3 o’clock position. This is because it reduces the risk of injury to your face, arms and hands in the event of an air bag deployment.

If you are turning left, use your right hand to push the steering wheel clockwise and then pull it down with your left hand. You can also use your left hand to slide the steering wheel in an anticlockwise direction until your right hand meets it in the 6 o’clock position.

Alternatively, you can use your right hand to cross over the steering wheel with your left hand and then grasp it in the 1’o clock position. Then, use your left hand to push the wheel in a clockwise motion and your right hand to pull it down.

This is an effective technique that helps you maneuver your car and make sharp turns in a safe manner. It is especially useful if you are backing up out of a driveway or parking space, or if you need to activate an operating control, such as the turn signal or your windshield wipers.

The Hands-On-The-Wheel Position can be a little intimidating at first, but it is essential to driving safety and skill development. As you become accustomed to it, you may be surprised at how easy it is to control your vehicle with just two hands. You can even practice a hand-over-hand steering maneuver in the driveway to gain confidence before heading out on the road.


Adaptability in driving skills is an important skill for automobile drivers, as they are often exposed to changes in vehicle handling properties that require them to adjust their steering control actions (Martens and Jenssen 2012). These can be either benign (a slightly different steering ratio on different cars) or dangerous (the sudden appearance of a patch of black ice in the road).

When this happens, a driver needs to re-orientate themselves to the new situation. They may need to change their driving speed and lane position or even stop driving altogether.

This process is known as adaptation, and it has been studied extensively in the laboratory for a variety of tasks. It has also been linked to important psychological skills, including coping and personal growth.

In driving, drivers need to be able to rapidly adapt their behaviour to changing traffic flow conditions and to the state of the automatic driver assistance system. This is essential for driver safety, as drivers have to maintain large time headways and avoid possible interactions with slower vehicles (NHTSA 2005; Alkim, Bootsma, and Hoogendoorn 2007; Malta et al. 2012.

The ACC has been shown to have a direct impact on driver behaviour during control transitions. When the ACC system is activated, drivers maintain larger time headways and change lanes before encountering slower vehicles (NHTSA 2005; Alkim, Boothma, and Hoogendoorn 2007; Maltese et al. 2012.

However, a significant amount of literature has not examined the impact of ACC systems on control transitions. For example, most car-following and lane-changing models implemented in microscopic traffic flow simulations do not account for the adaptation effect of a system that transfers control to the driver.

To address this limitation, we used linear mixed-effects models to investigate adaptation effects in driver behaviour characteristics during control transitions. These models allow us to consider the effect of time period, density level, ACC system state, and between-subjects variability simultaneously.

The time needed by a driver to stabilise their driving behaviour after resuming manual control was analysed using repeated measures ANOVA in a driver simulator experiment with a high degree of controllability. The transition period was defined as the duration of time after deactivation or overruling of the ACC system when drivers resumed manual control. The magnitude of the corresponding adaptation in driver behaviour characteristics was calculated using the model.


A driver’s flexibility is important for navigating unfamiliar driving situations. This means they must be able to apply their prior knowledge of the driving environment to a new situation in order to drive safely and avoid injury or property damage.

Drivers also need to be able to quickly and accurately react to traffic conditions, such as braking or accelerating, changing gears (if using a manual transmission), steering and checking the rearview mirror. Upper body flexibility is necessary for these movements, and shoulder, chest and neck stretches can help improve this skill.

Performing daily exercises can improve your overall physical fitness and help reduce stress and anxiety in the car. Exercises like biceps curls, squats and leg and ankle stretches can increase strength, while back and heel drops can boost range of motion and flexibility.

Flexibility and strength can also play a role in driving skills, especially when performing actions such as pressing down on a brake pedal or putting on your seatbelt. These movements require flexibility and strength in your arms, legs and wrists.

While most people think of strength as something that can be improved by building muscle, flexibility is another area of concern for drivers. Performing stretches to enhance your flexibility will also help with getting in and out of the car easily, as well as moving around in a vehicle during long trips.

Many drivers rely on their flexibility when it comes to driving, particularly when they are juggling multiple jobs and family obligations. As the world continues to change and evolve, flexibility is a vital skill for drivers to maintain.

A recent study suggests that drivers who are able to adjust their thinking and adapt quickly are more likely to be successful in their careers. Known as cognitive flexibility, this ability allows for flexible thinking to respond to changes in a new, unfamiliar environment.

The researchers found that AD patients demonstrated more difficulty in mental flexibility than older drivers, indicating a possible impairment in this aspect of their executive function. This was reflected in their performance in the Plus-Minus test, which tests mental flexibility.


One of the most important skills that every driver must master is attention. This is because the road environment is full of complex, ever-changing risks that demand constant adjustments to your driving behavior.

You may be able to drive with good vehicle control and road rules knowledge, but you’ll never be a safe or responsible driver if you aren’t fully focused on the task at hand. The most dangerous driving situations occur when drivers become distracted – by eating, talking on their phone or watching television.

This is the reason why Ford Motor Company, the Governors Highway Safety Association and a panel of highway safety experts developed Driving Skills for Life to teach new drivers how to avoid the leading causes of crashes. Founded in 2003, DSFL is designed to help teens reduce their involvement in crash-related accidents by teaching them essential driving skills beyond what’s taught in standard driver education courses.

In addition to teaching new drivers the skills necessary to be safer on the road, DSFL’s clinics address critical issues that contribute to teen crash risk, including hazard recognition, vehicle handling and speed. The program also teaches new drivers about emerging technologies and mobility options.

Besides reducing the risk of a crash, drivers who are skilled at their jobs save money on fuel costs and insurance premiums. They are also more aware of weather conditions, road traffic and other factors that can affect their driving and can respond accordingly.

Another benefit of being a good driver is that it can help you to stay healthy. It’s not only a great way to avoid health problems and stress, but it also makes you more productive and confident.

It also gives you a sense of independence. When you own your own car, you can go where you want whenever you want, and you don’t have to depend on others for transport.

Driving skills are crucial for anyone who wants to become a truck driver or bus driver. It can help you save time and money on commuting, and it will be an invaluable skill to have when working with clients.