Driving with the correct posture is one of the most important things when operating a car.
The benefits of a correct driving posture are clear: better visibility, better comfort and faster reaction times.
Why should we adopt good driving posture?
Having good driving posture is important, particularly for people who drive for a living.
If you’re sitting properly in your car, that contributes to fewer musculoskeletal injuries over time.
Also, sitting properly in your car means you’re better protected in case of an accident.
If you sit too near the wheel, your seatbelt might not have sufficient time to react in the event of a collision.
Similarly, airbags also need space to deploy and sitting too near the wheel might cause facial injuries when the airbag deploys.
Conversely, sitting too far from the wheel isn’t good too.
If, for example, your arms are straight out in front of you, you can’t control the steering wheel well enough.
So the question is: how should we best sit in the car?
A good driving position
One good thing about modern cars is that they have relatively comfortable seats.
The real issue is sitting properly in them and getting a good, unobstructed view out.
- Lean back. Ever felt uncomfortable sitting ramrod-straight? That’s why you should recline your seat to somewhere around 100 to 110 degrees. Not too far, because leaning too far back means you have to look downwards, leading to neck strain.
- Sit at the right height. Raise your seat so your eye level is about 8cm above the top of the steering wheel, but not so high as to hit your head on the roof. Ensure you can still see your instruments like the speedometer.
- Don’t sit too close to the steering wheel. This is crucial for the reasons mentioned above. Your arms should be just slightly bent (around 120 degrees) and your chest should not be closer than 30cm from the wheel.
- Make sure you can depress the pedals properly. Adjust your seat so that you can depress the pedals fully without your back leaving the seat. Also, make sure your knees are just slightly bent (about 20 – 30 degrees).
- Two-finger gap. Ensure the backs of your knees don’t touch the seat as it cuts off your circulation. Make sure there’s a two-finger gap between the backs of your knees and the seat cushion.
- Correct headrest position prevents whiplash. Adjust your headrest so that it rests in the middle of your head and ensure your head is not too far forward. This prevents neck damage and prevents whiplash.
- Adjust your mirrors. This follows from point 6. Ensure you’re sitting in your proper driving position before moving your mirrors. You should adjust them such that you can see part of your car and the traffic behind and to the side without having to crane your neck.
- Have proper lumbar support. Adjust your seat’s lumbar support so that you feel an even pressure from your shoulders to your hips. You can buy lumbar pillows or supports if your car doesn’t come with lumbar support.
Take breaks while driving!
If you follow the steps above to improve your driving posture, you should feel more comfortable and relaxed at the wheel.
However, nothing beats taking breaks at the wheel especially if you’ve been driving for more than two hours.
Once you’ve done all that, you can be sure of a much more comfortable drive!