at the wheel

at the wheel

1. Literally, driving a vehicle (and thus sitting at the steering wheel). Don't worry, Katie's at the wheel, and she is very good at driving in the snow. I'm so excited to finally be at the wheel of my own car!
2. By extension, in charge; acting the leader (of something). Jack is at the wheel, so I know they'll get this project done on time!
See also: wheel

at the wheel

 
1. operating the wheel that turns a ship's rudder; at the helm. The cabin boy was at the wheel with the captain close by.
2. operating the steering wheel of a car. Bobby was at the wheel when the car went off the road.
See also: wheel

at the wheel

In command, in control. For example, Ann hated being told what to do; she wanted to be at the wheel by herself. The analogy here is to the steering wheel of an automobile or other vehicle, or the helm of a vessel. For a synonym, see at the helm.
See also: wheel

at/behind the ˈwheel (of something)

driving a car: Who was at the wheel when the car crashed?
Wheel in this phrase refers to the steering wheel of a car.
See also: behind, wheel
References in classic literature ?
Wolf Larsen motioned for me to come down, and when I stood beside him at the wheel gave me instructions for heaving to.
And as this idea of fulfilling Wolf Larsen's order persisted in my dazed consciousness, I seemed to see him standing at the wheel in the midst of the wild welter, pitting his will against the will of the storm and defying it.
When the tire deflates, the vehicle rides on two small oval contact patches at the wheel rim.
Uncooled wheel hub motors with approximately 150 Nm (110 lb-ft) of torque would give up to 600 Nm (440 lb-ft) of torque at the wheels in an all-wheel-drive application, though switching to cooled motors would raise this to a total of 1,000 Nm (738 lb-ft), if required.
This rating is the direct measure of the power available at the wheels.