Quiz: Get into position
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Understanding the Importance of the Correct Driving Position
You might think that how you sit while driving is not a thing for debate. You move into your car, adjust the seat, move the steering wheel around, and take off. You’re skipping a crucial step – finding the correct driving position.
Taking the time to set your seating position correctly improves your sightlines and enables you to operate the car more efficiently. Here’s why the correct driving position is important:
Protect your back
Stiff neck, backache, sore shoulders are just some of the everyday shakes that can take a toll on your body, and the way you sit while driving might be part of the problem. Some car seats do not sufficiently accommodate the curve of your lower back, exerting additional strain on your spine. Besides, compact cars may not have enough headspace and legroom, forcing taller drivers to contort the body into unhealthy positions just to drive the vehicle.
Don’t Sit Too Close
You need to sit in a way that you can comfortably reach the pedals and use your entire foot to press them to their full range. This allows you to be safe on the road: studies suggest that people who drive with their chests closer to the wheel are more likely to suffer serious neck, head, and chest injuries in rear-end and front collisions. Here’s how to set the correct driving position to minimize the risks of discomfort, reduces driving fatigue and stress, and prevent muscular-skeletal injuries (MSIs):
- Ensure you have a clear view of your panel display. Your knees should not come into contact with the steering column or the underside of the dash when operating pedals.
- Adjust the backrest to an angle of 100 or 110 degrees, so it provides support along your back.
- Have at least a two-finger gap in between the seat and the back of your knee
- Adjust your seat in a way that you can fully press the pedals and still slightly bend in the right leg.
- Position the steering wheel in a way that there is 25 to 30 cm in between your chest and the center of the steering wheel. This space provides flexibility and proper leverage to turn the steering wheel and allows airbags to deploy without the risk of hurting the driver properly.
Use Lumbar Support
Set your lumber support if it’s adjustable in your car (use both the up-down and front-back controls) so you can feel even pressure all the way from your hip bone to your shoulders. For cars that don’t have automatic support, use even a rolled-up towel or a lumbar pillow for support. The lumbar support should be fine-tuned so that there are no pressure points or gaps in between.
Take a Rest When You’reTired
Even when you are correctly positioned in the driver’s seat, fatigue is inevitable, especially when you’ve been driving a long distance. It’s important that you listen to your body and eventually take periodic breaks every now and then. Park your car safely at a rest stop or any other designated stopping area and take some time to stretch and unwind.