When you think of what it is that defines your car driving experience for you, many things can be in consideration. The brand of the car, the looks, the interior, the color, the performance, the speed, and much more. This is interesting since what truly defines the experience is not just the way the engine and speed work in your car but also the role your steering wheel plays. This makes the steering the most often overlooked yet crucial part of your driving.
Not many know that till the 1900s most cars had tilters (like a bike today) instead of a steering wheel. In a race in 1894, Alfred Vacheron wanted a better way to maneuver the car he was driving in the Paris Rouen race. This is when the first steering wheel was properly used. Then over the next three or so decades, the steering wheel became an inherent part of all cars. This was due to the visible advantage it provided over the precious option known to carmakers. This brings us to the importance of a steering wheel.
The original and for the most part continuing importance and purpose of the steering wheel is inherent in its name. The part/ device when affixed in a car allows the driver to steer the car as per need. It does so by working with the wheel axis of the car and directing the car in the way the driver wants. Any and all developments in this department/ field when it comes to the steering wheel have been focused on the precision of the steering and the comfort of the same.
Recently the last two decades have seen the importance and use of the steering wheel increase. While they continue to focus on their primary function, today’s steering wheels make the drive easier in many other ways as well. Added accessories to the wheel have made a lot of things possible.
Be it volume and music adjustment or turning on and off the AC, the driver today needs to be less distracted from the road and the wheel to perform these functions. The controls are on the wheel. Similarly, modern smart steering wheels also allow controlling texts, picking and disconnecting voice calls, and other mobile based functions. Smartphones and Bluetooth have allowed for such control to be possible thus further reducing distractions for the driver. This should not however mean that mobile functions are encouraged while driving, rather the opposite is true.
As time goes on, the steering wheel may see advancements that make it more central than it is and yet today as it was when they were introduced, the prime importance of them cannot be ignored or unseen to any driver.