How is your car seat different from your office chair? Probably not as much as you think! Many of the same rules/adjustments apply.
Most folks make three position mistakes when driving:
- Sitting too close to the pedals
- Sitting too low/high in the seat
- Having the steering wheel too high
- Being the correct distance from the pedals is essential to a comfortable commute. It should be possible to adjust the seat so that your right leg is extended, without having it so straight you can’t push the gas pedal without stretching. Most car seats today offer forwards/backwards adjustment for this, plus an adjustable backrest angle and sometimes height adjustment too.
- Make sure you are not so high/low in your seat that you have to bend your head down/up or to the side in order to see over the dashboard. If you are still too low after adjusting the chair to maximum height, try adding a cushion or wedge to the seat. Cushions can also decrease vibrations from the road which have been shown to contribute to injuries.
- Remember how you were taught to drive at “10 and 2”? Like manual transmissions, it’s nostalgic, but not necessarily the more efficient way to drive. Try holding the wheel at “8 and 4” and pay attention to how your shoulder position changes! See? You’re more relaxed already.