If you’ve ever been on a road trip, or if you drive frequently for work, you may have suffered aches and pains in your back, neck and legs. You may assume that these annoyances are just the price of driving long distances, but they actually may be the sign that you need to improve your driving posture.
The 8 tips for good driving posture below won’t just save you from bothersome aches and pains; they could actually help prevent accidents.
Many drivers keep their side and rearview mirrors positioned such that they must crane their necks to see. Check your mirrors each time before you hit the road to ensure they are in the right position. If you’re driving and you find your mirrors need to be adjusted, pull over.
Position your tailbone as close to the back of your seat as possible. Try and maintain a two- or three-finger space between the front of your seat and the back of your knees.
The seat pan can be adjusted to reduce strain on your thighs. Ideally, your seat should be positioned so your knees are slightly lower than your hips. This will increase circulation in your lower legs and back and prevent cramping.
The positioning of the headrest is vitally important in preventing severe whiplash injuries. The top of the headrest should sit between the top of your head and the top of your ears. It should barely touch the back of your head when you are sitting in a comfortable position.
Studies have shown that drivers who sit with their chests too close to the steering wheel are more likely to suffer severe injuries to the head, chest and neck. Move your seat back far enough so your right foot is can easily reach and move between the gas and the brake pedals.
Your line of sight should be three inches above the steering wheel at all times. If you notice yourself having to peek over the steering wheel to see the road, raise your seat.
Though it may seem comfortable to lean back in your seat, you’ll end up putting extra strain on your neck and shoulders as you have to lift your head off the headrest to see. The ideal angle is 100 to 110 degrees.
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