an uptick in distracted driving
a crack down on drunk-driving
a focus on fuel-efficiency
the adoption of four wheel drive
laws dictating seat belt use
the cupholder trend
the airbag shift
For decades, the common wisdom was to place one’s hands on a steering wheel at the 10 and 2 o’clock positions, but now many state DMVs and safety experts recommend placing your hands lower at 9 and 4 or 8 and 4. The reason for the change was the advent of airbags in more vehicles around 1990, meaning hands higher on the wheel became subject to fly into one’s face or cause other injuries if the airbag was deployed in an accident.