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The forum is supported by a team of traffic safety researchers, health promotion specialists, engineers, epidemiologists and other health professionals who can address a wide variety of concerns related to senior driver safety.
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Recently Answered Questions
What is the proper way to adjust your steering wheel height and the placement of your hands to prevent injury in the event of an airbag deployment? I heard from a co-worker that "aiming" the steering wheel height from your face is best so that during a deployment the bag's force would be delivered to your stomach and not bone. I also read something about positioning your hands at the 9 and 3 o'clock positions is now ideal to avoid hand injuries by airbags.
— Los Angeles, California
Thank you for your questions! First, AAA recommends adjusting the steering wheel so that the top of the wheel is no higher than the top of your shoulders. This gives you the maximum control behind the wheel with the least fatigue, and it also keeps you safe if your airbag deploys. To learn more about how you should “fit” with your vehicle, check out CarFit!
Second, AAA now recommends a slightly lower hand position on the steering wheel, at either “9&3” or “8&4,” whichever is more comfortable. Using this lower grip will keep the driver safe if the airbag deploys and makes it easier to steer in any sort of emergency maneuvering.
Dad is 88. How and when does he need to quit driving? Is there help?
— Grand Rapids, Michigan
Your dad is lucky to have children looking out for his wellbeing! The truth of the matter is that driving is a function of ability, not age; there’s no magic number at which our driving abilities become compromised.
If you’re concerned about your dad’s driving abilities, check here to see if he is exhibiting any of the warning signs for unsafe driving. He can fill out a self-rating form, take an interactive driving evaluation on the computer, or be assessed by an occupational therapist-driver rehabilitation specialist to identify and address his strengths and weaknesses behind the wheel.