The pleasure of driving not only comes from a good car but also from a correct driving position so that the experience does not become tiresome and even dangerous. So, first of all, you have to know that there are several positions for the driver to guide correctly, but in numbers, they arise because of something peculiar to any living being, its size.
But even though one driver of short stature and one of tall stature have a big difference in height, they can both guide one car properly, only knowing how to make the overall adjustment correctly. In this same position, although with different adjustments, both can enjoy better comfort and safety.
Correct adjustment prevents back, leg, neck, arm and general aches and pains. A well-positioned body also allows the driver to feel more comfortable and also prevents the driver to relax, thus reducing the stress on the steering wheel and distraction, which can come from a few seconds’ sleep, enough to cause a fatal accident.
This way, the driver can drive for a longer time, although the recommended one is a maximum of two hours, with pauses to drink coffee and to stretch the legs, after all, in long trips or long in urban traffic, the body will need a vehicle to restore muscles that have been in the same position for a long time. The correct driving position also avoids long-term health problems, such as spine problems, for example.
Well-positioned between the seat and the steering wheel, the driver also avoids accidents. With the right posture, the driver will have ease in the movements and thus will be able to react in time and with precision to unravel of a potential accident or even to avoid the loss of control in certain maneuvers or curves. The correct driving position also allows for better visualization of panel information, access to commands and also observe traffic from all possible angles.
The visibility generated by driving correctly in terms of position is important for blind spots to be minimal and to also observe the movements and attitude of other cars. The idea is not to hunt the targets in the mirrors or windows, as well as to be leaning to see or trigger a certain function. Ergonomics, in this case, is also very much related to the car that is driving.
In the old days, the cars had hardly any seatbelt, and seat adjustment was only in the distance and, depending on the model, there was also adjustment of the backrest. Other than that, there were no more options for better driver positioning. Today, however, most cars have adjustments for belts (height), steering column (height and/or depth) and seat (distance, incline and/or height).
Some even have lumbar adjustment, apart from those that have electrical adjustments, which can even extend the seat itself, adjust the height of the headrest, increase or decrease the side flaps and even massage, with heating and ventilation. For those who can afford it, there is all that and even more such as memories, input, and output mode as well as the automated steering column. But if you can not afford to have all that comfort, you can at least drive in the right way.
Also, you can not forget the external mirrors and the internal. In the past, there was only one on the driver’s side (outside) and with external adjustment. Today, the controls are in but have much launch requiring the driver’s effort for manual adjustments, especially in the right, which is far away. The internal is usually day and night or electrochromic but needs to be adjusted. Here’s how to do it:
Correct driving position
When entering the car, the driver needs to find his ideal position of comfort and convenience. As already mentioned, there are no specific adjustments; this will depend on the height of the driver and/or his preference. But in the latter case, it must meet the requirements of a safe direction. The back should always be in full contact with the backrest and the head resting against the upper support (head).
The exterior mirrors need to cover a sufficient field of view also to see the cars that are side by side and only a small part of the body for guidance in the maneuvers. The horizon must be level with the mirror area. The inner mirror should cover the entire area of the rear window. The seat belt must pass in the middle of the driver’s shoulder and not near the neck or at the side of the arm. Adjust it to fit tightly to the body, but not tight.
With seat adjusted too, the driver can even change the slope of the backrest while driving if it is too long and there is no suitable place to stop in order to try to relax more. A momentary change of position in the seat also helps to relieve the tension of the body in fixed position for a long time.
Thus, the ideal is to keep pedals within reach of the feet and legs; only the thighs should remain supported in the seat, without the back of the knee or calf next to the seat. Three fingers are required for pressure-free movement in these areas. The legs need to be slightly flexed with the feet depressing on the pedals, especially in the clutch, which is the most used until its end in the manual cars. The foot should rest flat on the floor when not in use on the pedals.
In the case of a backrest, the best position is between 100 and 120 degrees, where the body can relax better and movements will not be compromised. With the backrest very upright, there will be a strain on the arms, spine, and neck. In addition, the discomfort will be greater along the way. In case of too much inclination, the driver can have the arms stretched, which is unsafe for maneuvers and deviations, as well as tiring. In addition, in strong braking, the body can slide under the belt. The headrest must be centered with the driver’s vision, but if it is not possible to measure, leave two or three fingers high.
The correct driving position must be in accordance with the instrumentation so that it can be seen without interference from the steering wheel. If it has a height adjustment, place it in such a way that it is clean. The arms need to be slightly flexed without shifting shoulders and in “10:10” or “9:15” position, like a clock, so that in a deviation, the movement is not impeded by the arms crossed during the action. To measure the correct distance to the steering wheel, the driver should extend the arms until he/she passes the handle over the direction rim. The steering wheel should not touch the legs. The hands also need to operate the shift lever and parking brake comfortably.
With these recommendations, driving will be much less tiring and enjoyable. Remember, the settings depend on each driver. Do whatever it takes to find the best and correct driving position. Do not use pillows or cushions to increase comfort, as this will only hurt the driver and increase the risk of injury in an accident. Always be alert and relaxed, but at the slightest sign of fatigue, find a safe place to rest and stretch your muscles. Good trip!