You’ve seen a Brodie knob, even if you’ve never heard of one! They’re the little knobs placed on the steering wheel in some cars and other vehicles.
People usually refer to them as steering wheel knobs. You’ll see them on forklifts really often, thanks to how easy they make one-handed driving. Have you ever wondered if steering wheel knobs are safe to use?
Steering wheel knobs are generally safe to use when they are correctly installed. When they are incorrectly installed, they can pose a driving hazard due to the potential risk of snagging on the driver’s clothing.
Keep reading to learn more about the safety considerations for using a steering wheel knob!
Is It Safe to Use a Steering Wheel Knob?
Using a knob to enhance your leverage while driving can make controlling your car easier. It’ll have the most noticeable impact on the car’s cornering, making it much easier to control.
There’s only one major downside when it comes to installing a steering wheel knob!
They have to go in a specific spot, or they could become a hazard. Placing them where they’re able to grab onto your clothes isn’t a good idea.
You can check whether they’ll latch onto anything by getting in the car while installing them. Try to maneuver the steering wheel like you would while driving the car normally.
The knob shouldn’t come too close to your clothes at any point. If it’s a little too close, you’ll need to reposition it. That’s the only way you’ll prevent it from being a hazard while you’re driving.
Even installing one of them properly doesn’t mean you can be careless while you’re on the road!
You can use the knob whenever you’re going through a turn to keep one of your hands on the wheel at all times. You won’t have to remove them whenever the wheel has turned all the way around. Usually, you have to take your hands off it to keep turning if you’re going around a sharp corner.
Using a knob makes it a lot easier to go through sharp turns without removing your hands at all. So, they can actually make it safer to drive if you’re on curvy roads.
Where Should a Steering Wheel Knob Be Placed?
You can place a steering knob in one of two places. Put it on the side of the wheel that’s equivalent to your dominant arm. So, if you write with your left hand, place it on the left side of the steering wheel.
Put it on the right side if you usually use your right hand for things. Putting it on the dominant side will make it easier to use after it’s installed.
Usually, you’ll want to install it near the top of the wheel. Make sure the wheels are completely straight so the tires are parallel. Then, install the knob just to the side of the top. That’s where you’ll get the best leverage after you’ve finished everything.
Take a few moments to test whether the knobs are going to catch anything. Rotate the wheel all the way around with the knob in place. If it latches onto something, reposition it.
Keep doing this until you’ve placed it somewhere it doesn’t touch anything.
You can also try adjusting the steering wheel’s position. Most of the time, there’s a small lever underneath it that lets you adjust its position. Try repositioning the steering wheel to see if that gives the knob a bit more clearance.
Another way you can prevent the knob from latching onto things is by pushing the seat back. You can even try lowering the driver’s seat so you have more legroom. That’s often enough to keep the knob from catching anything while you’re driving.
Are Steering Wheel Knobs Illegal?
There are not any laws in the federal law code that prevent you from using a knob in your car. However, you should still check your local laws to see if there’s anything against them in your area.
Some areas may have laws against them that apply locally. The only way you can know if that’s the case is by doing a little research. Try asking your local city hall about their legality if you’d like to install one of them in your car.
It’s always better to know for sure if you’re going to modify something in your car. That way, you won’t have to worry about breaking the law without realizing it.
Some places make it illegal to drive without installing a knob on your steering wheel. If you have a disability, you may have to install one of them in your car to stay on the road.
To learn more on this topic, take a look at my full article on are steering wheel knobs legal.