How to Find the Best Driving Position for Yourself

Published by on . Updated on 15 Oct 2020

Best Driving Position (Photo Credit: iStock)

Do you get regular back and neck aches from driving or find yourself stuck in an awkward driving position? Don’t worry, we all do, and it takes a significant toll on our bodies. This guide will teach you how to improve and find the best driving position for yourself.

We should always practise driving with the proper posture and position; feeling comfortable and safe is very much needed while driving. In this article, we will go through the why, what, and how you should correct them to find the best driving position for yourself.

Why do you need the best driving position?

In the case of an accident(touch wood), the wrong driving position might decrease your survivability chances. Sitting too near the wheel would not provide you ample time for you to react in the event of a collision. Also, when your airbag gets deployed, it would give you the best smack of your life if you’re too close to the wheel, resulting in horrific facial injuries. Likewise, if you sit too far from your wheel, you’ll have to endure a sore arm from having your arms being fully extended and holding the steering wheel.

The problem may also come from the make and model of your car. If you're 185cm and driving a small hatchback then that would cause issues because you might be too big for the car. The question comes in then:

What is the optimal driving position for yourself?

Driving Position Grpahic (Photo Credit: iStock)

Well, experts say that the comfortable and optimal position for sitting in your car should have your hips higher than your knees as this would assist your shoulder blades, providing more range for adjustment. Here are the steps to adjusting your driving position:

Adjusting your seat

Proper Driving

This is what anyone should do when they get into their car. The seat controls vary on the vehicle and what you should be adjusting is your seat forward or backwards, height and backrest.

Seat Forwards or Backwards

Seat Adjustor (Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

You should slide your seat until your knees are slightly bent when you're pressing the accelerator pedal. Slide your seat forward if your legs extend completely when you press the gas pedal, if not slide your seat back if your legs are bent too much. By ensuring your knees are slightly bent while you drive prevents knee pain.

A general rule of thumb to measure this, would be placing two fingers between the edge of your seat and the back of your knee.

Seat Height

Car Seat Cushion (Photo Credit: AutoWise)

Next, as we mentioned earlier, your hips should be higher than your knees. Thus, you have to use your seat controls to raise your seat. Ensuring you can see out of the windshield and windows. If you are unable to adjust the height of your seat, a simple cushion can help you.

Seat Backrest

100 Degree Angle (Photo Credit: ThoughtCo.)

For adjusting your backrest, it is recommended that you recline your backrest to 100 degrees. This releases pressure on your lower back, encouraging comfortability for your drive. You should not have to lift your shoulders as you turn the steering wheel. If you are having to lean forward, move your backrest up. A good indicator that you’re in the optimal position is when your arms are slightly bent when holding the steering wheel.

How should you be sitting properly in a car?

1. Sit with your body all the way back into your seat

Sitting Back(Photo Credit: AutoJosh)

2. Hold your steering wheel at a "10 and 2" or“ 9 and 3” position.

Car Steering Position(Photo Credit: iStock)

3. For manual drivers, keep your left foot on the dead pedal when not in use. Auto drivers, don’t use both feet at all, just your right.

Foot On Pedal(Photo Credit:iStock)

More Tips for Your Drive

1. Take Breaks

Break From Driving (Photo Credit:iStock)

When driving, always remember to take breaks every couple of hours especially if your occupation requires you to drive for long hours.This is because of fatigue and it would cause more body aches. Find somewhere to stop and stretch for a bit.

2. Test Drive / Try the car before buying

Test Driving(Photo Credit: iStock)

If you know that you are prone to body aches after driving, test drive the car before buying one and make sure it’s comfortable for you and your family. Test driving the car will determine whether it suits you. Being in the optimal driving position where you can reach the steering wheel with your elbows bent, looking at the mirror with ease are also indicators.

We hope that this guide proves useful and helps you if you have discomfort with your current driving position. Always remember to take breaks while you drive and let us know if this guide helps in the comments below!

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