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Cross purposes

Thu 16th Jan 2020

"If you cross your hands you'll fail!" Many of my pupils have been told this by people who should know better, and it's simply not true.

This charming diagram from my 1969 copy of "Driving" from HMSO illustrates what many think of as the gold standard for steering. You might know it as 'feeding the wheel' or push-pull, but it's more correct to call it pull-push, as the initial pull comes first from the leading hand. This sets out what to do for a left turn.

It's not the only way to steer, and it really doesn't matter what you do on test, so long as it's safe and effective. If there is no loss of control, no fault is committed.

Pull-push is often badly taught and poorly executed. Quite often, the wheel will be moved in small 'chunks' rather than an efficient sweeping movement. For example, if you need '15 minutes' of steering, just do one chunk of 15 minutes, rather than 3 chunks of 5 minutes. This will be three times more efficient!

If you can master pull-push, great - use it. If you can't, whatever you do, does it work? If the answer's yes, then don't sweat it.

If you want to know about this and other methods of steering, for grown-up driving, you know what to do...