Q: Dear Trooper Troy: Is there a minimum size that a steering wheel in a vehicle has to be?

Q: Dear Trooper Troy: Is there a minimum size that a steering wheel in a vehicle has to be? I noticed a car that had a very small aftermarket steering wheel and was curious what the law says about that. What about the law of having a steering wheel knob attached to the steering wheel?

 

A: Trooper Troy Says: There is no law specifically related to steering wheel size.

If the mounting of the steering wheel is not secure it could become an “unsafe equipment” violation.  

Replacing the original steering wheel with one without an airbag would also be unsafe because vehicle airbags are designed to work with the installed seatbelts to keep all the occupants safe in the event of a crash or rollover.

Steering wheel knobs are not illegal in Minnesota. This is a myth that has been spread, possibly because the knobs have also been called “suicide knobs”.  This negative connotation caused people to assume they were illegal. In fact, steering wheel knobs are sometimes prescribed to people with applicable disabilities to assist them in driving.

My concern is that they may interfere with the shuffle style or hand-to-hand type of steering input; causing loss of control or a crash.  My recommendation is to never alter or remove the original steering wheel, unless prescribed by a physician to aid the driver in controlling a vehicle due to a disability.

You can avoid a ticket — and a crash — if you simply buckle up, drive at safe speeds, pay attention and always drive sober.  Help us drive Minnesota Toward Zero Deaths.

If you have any questions concerning traffic related laws or issues in Minnesota send your questions to Sgt. Troy Christianson – Minnesota State Patrol at 2900 48th Street NW, Rochester MN 55901-5848. (Or reach him at, Troy.Christianson@state.mn.us) Twitter:   MSPPIO_SOUTH