Driving tests

4: Steering control

The aim of this lesson is to smoothly steer the car through a 90-degree turn at slow speed. The car should be in a safe area, either on or off the road, with enough room to make 90-degree turns at low speed. If you are driving on the road you will need to use the indicators.

Note: because this is a low-speed manoeuvre, you can choose to use push-pull or hand-over-hand (rotational) steering because there is no chance of the airbag going off. On the open road, you would use push-pull steering because with rotational steering, if your hand is across the wheel and the airbag goes off, it will hit your arm first, which will then hit your face, possibly causing you injury.

Watch the video below for an excellent explanation of three steering methods recommended by Roadcraft, the police driver’s handbook in the UK.

Rotational steering is quickest for low speed manoeuvres, but unnecessary when the car is travelling at speed because steering becomes more sensitive.

Driver actions

  • Have both hands lightly gripping the steering wheel at quarter-to-three position
  • Steer the car through at least five left and right 90-degree turns, maintaining the correct lane position if on a road
  • Turn the steering wheel back to the centre each time rather than letting it slip back by itself – this allows you to maintain control
  • Use the appropriate steering method for the speed and how tight the turn is – either push-pull or hand-over-hand (rotational)
  • Keep fully in control of the car throughout the sequence of turns
  • Look ahead in the direction of the turn, not at the ground in front of the car



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