Getting into the proper driving position should never be taken for granted because bad posture behind the wheel can lead to stress, backaches, or long term injuries that can be irreversible at times.
To correct this, here are the ways on how you could position yourself correctly in the driver seat. These can be trivial for some but for those without a clue, these are pretty helpful.
Make sure that your buttocks and back are well supported by the seat and backrest when finding the right position. Sit straight and make yourself comfortable. The headrest should also support the back of the head to restrain whiplash. Its height should not go lower than your ears. Additionally, the lumbar support (the lower portion of the backrest) should not put pressure on your lower back.
Feet and Legs
The distance of your seat depends on how your feet and legs are situated when driving. If you’re using a manual transmission car, your left leg should be slightly bent when you fully press the clutch pedal. Otherwise, you will need more effort to engage the clutch and could strain your leg in the long run. Your knees shouldn’t also touch the part of the dashboard under the steering wheel when in rest position.
In case you’re driving an automatic transmission car, your left leg shouldn’t be fully extended when situated on the empty part beside the brake pedal or the foot rest.
As for the right foot, it should rest slightly on the brake pedals with the ball joint touching its base. You should be able to pivot it to the accelerator pedal without too much movement.
Just like the legs, it’s important that the arms are in the correct position and distance before you start driving. You should be relaxed when both hands are on the steering wheel. Fully extended arms are risky during accidents, as you won’t be able to absorb the shock - leading to more serious injuries.
To check this, extend your arms while you’re in relax position and your shoulders are touching the backrest of the seat. You’ll know that your arms are in the right distance when the wrist touch the top of the steering wheel. If you need to adjust, you can do so by correcting the angle of the backrest of your seat.
Position your hands
Whether you’re driving an automatic or a manual, your left and right hands should always be in 9:00 and 3:00 position on the steering wheel. Why? Because this will enable you to turn the wheel completely with ease and without hindrance. This is pretty handy especially when you suddenly need to avoid an obstacle and change direction.
Your grip should also be not too tight nor too soft so that you are in control of the steering wheel.
Once you’ve positioned yourself correctly on the seats, it’s time to check if you can see everything clearly from your driving position. However, this should not be limited to the road ahead. The mirrors are important part of your driving as they are your additional set of eyes.
Although sometimes used for vanity, your rear view mirror is there for you to see the back without turning your head. Additionally, side mirrors should show a part of your car, while the rest should clearly reflect the road.
Getting into the proper driving position is one of the basic things every driver should know. Aside from making your drive comfortable, proper driving position adds to your overall safety; which is why we should never take it for granted.