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Steering Wheel

History of Mercedes steering wheels

Never sit too close to the steering wheel

One often sees people sitting wrongly in their cars, above all, too close to the steering wheel. The correct distance is given when the hands are placed several centimetres apart, to the right and left of the center of the steering wheel upper rim, and with the lower shoulder blades just touching the back-rest. With today's versatile, adjustable steering wheels, finding the right position should be no problem. Remember, by moving further forwards, the risk of injuries in a front impact collision, and through the releasing of the air bag, is higher. In this case, the seat-belt tensioners won't be much help either.

The steering wheel, a danger for the passive security

The steering wheel can definitely become dangerous. For this reason, and because of the better grip, one has moved away from using hard plastic or wood, nowadays, almost exclusively rubber casings are used. Thus, e.g., the first legal safety regulation of the EU, concerned the precautions to be taken to prevent the steering wheel penetrating the interior in the case of an accident. Nowadays there are any number of installations in the steering column.

Very sensitive, it can be tested by almost everybody

No longer completely correct, is that the steering wheel diameter is dependent on the weight and size of the vehicle. In the meantime, power steering is doing a good job here. This shows, just how much the demand for a good steering has increased. It should be sensitive, but not skittish. Through it, the driver, at least in Europe, wants to feel the characteristics of the road surface. It should return to the center position without any problems. Unwanted influences should be filtered out automatically.

The steering wheel, the feeling of being personally in control

Perhaps the steering wheel is one of the last operational organs with fairly direct, and for the most part still, mechanical influence on the vehicle handling. This will not be taken out of the driver's hands that quickly because then he will finally notice that normal driving, e.g., in city traffic has very little to do with freedom and adventure. Corrections, ok, but steering must be left in the hands of the driver, that's the motto of the manufacturers. Not without reason, that the golden steering wheel still remains one of the most important awards bestowed on motor-cars.

Casting, PU-foam, decoration und trademark

The frame (see figure 1) is cast, as a rule, from aluminium, sometimes also with magnesium added. Then the casing with PU foam follows. In top of the range vehicles, a higher amount of effort can be made. In this class there are, e.g. partially wooden inserts (decoration coverings). Also conceivable is shining, polished metal or a metal coating which would be less dangerous in the event of an accident. Finally, (see figure 3) the robot mounts the buttons, and in the center, the brand emblem. 08/12