Number 5 I had heard of vaguely. Having the reason explained here, it makes perfect sense! If you are from a certain age group, we were taught to keep our hands at 10 and 2 on the steering wheel. However, airbags had not been invented yet, or at least were not standard in cars. Keeping your hands at 9 & 3 makes much more sense logistically.
“When you first learned to drive, you probably learned the “10 and 2” rule: Your hands should stay at 2:00 and 10:00 on the steering wheel; this is meant to give you optimum control over your vehicle if you need to suddenly avoid an obstacle.
That is, apparently, completely wrong. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration now recommends positioning of 9 and 3, which should help to keep the driver’s hands out of the way of the airbags in the event of an accident.
Other organizations have slightly different recommendations, but they’re all fairly similar. The State of Connecticut, for instance, recommends that “both hands should be placed on opposite sides of the steering wheel,” which should allow drivers to comfortably make turns at high speeds.
Still, the 10 and 2 position is widely seen as dangerous.
“When your airbag is triggered, super-hot nitrogen gas fills the bag, forcing open the plastic cover on your steering wheel,” wrote Matt Collister of insurance provider Progressive on the company’s blog.
“The bag then expands toward you at 150-250 mph. The higher your hands are on the wheel, the more likely they are to be over that plastic cover—and the more likely they are to be injured when it blows open,” according to Collister.
That might sound slightly dramatic, but the takeaway is clear: Keep those hands a bit lower. Otherwise, you could be taking an unnecessary risk—without benefiting from any added additional maneuverability.”