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Sit Up Straight: 8 Tips on How to Properly Position the Driver’s Seat

tips to properly position the driver's seatEver glanced at the driver next to you while stopped at the light and can barely see them because they’ve reclined their seat so far back they’re barely visible? And then you wonder how they can possible see over their dashboard? Can’t possibly be safe, right? Well it’s not, and is in fact a dangerous driving habit.

We’ve put together some tips in order to help you properly adjust your car seat while driving. Just do the following:

  1. Position yourself correctly in the seat. That means sit straight with you rear and back completely against the seat. Don’t leave any unnecessary gaps. This will help avoid backaches and possible back injuries.
  1. Adjust your seat distance. First, press the brake pedal fully. The distance while pressed down should allow for your knee to remain slightly bent (about 120 degrees). If needed, move your seat backward or forward for proper distance. 
  1. Adjust the angle of your seat. The seat should allow for you to be as parallel as possible to the steering wheel. It is impossible to get a perfect angle, but an upright angle of about 110-95 degrees should be good.
  1. Adjust the steering wheel height. If possible to adjust, the steering height should be angled so it is parallel to your back. Also make sure it is far enough down to allow for a clear view of the dashboard through the rim. Ideally, your hands should be on the wheel at 9 and 3, with your palms just lower than your shoulders.
  1. Adjust the steering distance. Again, if possible the steering wheel should be adjusted with the height as parallel to the back as possible. When gripping the wheel, your elbows should be bent at about 120 degrees. At a minimum, there should be about 10 inches between the center of the steering wheel and the base of your breastbone. It should also not be farther than 18 inches from you.
  1. Adjust your seat height. Do so in order to have a clear view over the dashboard. In most vehicles, the proper height should allow you to place five fingers between your head and the ceiling pf the car.
  1. Adjust the head restraints. Make sure the headrest is at a height just above your eyelids, and as close to your head as possible (2-3 cm). When a headrest is further away it increases the risk of whiplash.
  1. Wear your seatbelt. Make sure to adjust the lap belt as tightly as possible over the waist. Remember, seatbelts save lives.

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