The human body was not designed for long commutes on crowded highways. That is why your back aches when you arrive at work and again when you get home.
So, adjust the seat! It does not have to be this way. Car manufacturers equip the driver’s seat in almost every vehicle with an extensive range of adjustments.
It is not just a case of taller people sliding the seat back. You can raise and lower it, adjust the rake of the backrest and alter the lumbar support. Some cars have more than a dozen adjustments, often powered!
Most cars let you adjust the steering wheel, sliding it in or out and lifting it up or down. A few even offer adjustable pedals. With so much adjustment on offer, there is just no excuse for staggering around the office parking lot looking like the Hunchback of Notre Dame!
Adjusting The Car’s Seat For Safety
How you position yourself with regard to the windows and controls influences your ability to anticipate, see and get out of trouble. Sit too low and your view of the road is restricted. Sit too far back and you may not be able to turn the wheel as far and as quickly as you need in an emergency.
So, now that you know why it is important to get your seat in the right position, how do you do it?
Ergonomics specialists at the UK’s Loughborough University have studied automotive seating. They recommend a particular sequence of adjustments.
- Raise the seat to give yourself a good view of the road.
- Slide the seat forward until you can push the gas pedal all the way down.
- If the seat cushion tilts, angle it for support all along under your thighs.
- Angle the seat back so it touches it all the way up to your shoulders. (Seat manufacturer Recaro warns against hunching over the wheel. Always adopt an upright posture.)
- Adjust the lumbar support so it is comfortable under your lower back.
- Move the steering wheel so it’s at a distance that doesn’t force you to have your arms straight out. Make sure it doesn’t block your view of the instruments!
- Finish off by adjusting the headrest. Recaro suggests the top of the headrest should be level with the top of your head.
Stay safe and comfortable!
A correctly-positioned seat makes long journeys more comfortable and helps keep you safe. Take a minute to adjust yours before your next trip!