Perspective Newsletter
summer 2015
summer 2015

Is your driver’s seat adjusted properly?

Suggestion from customer Nancy S.

If you share your car with your spouse or a lanky teen, chances are the driver's seat needs adjustment just about every time you climb in. But do you really know the best combination of height, tilt, and distance for both safety and comfort? The experts at Ergonomics Simplified and offer these guidelines:

Height. Raise the seat so you can comfortably see the road and your knees are no higher than your hips. If your knees point upward, consider adding a foam wedge to raise your hips.

Distance from the steering wheel. Sitting too close to the steering wheel could lead to an airbag injury in an accident. Scoot the seat as far back as you can while still being able to comfortably reach the pedals by pivoting your right foot (not lifting it up). Make sure your elbows are slightly bent as you hold the wheel (if not, adjust the steering wheel toward you). That minimizes strain on your neck and upper back.

Head restraint. Ideally, the top of the head restraint should be even with the top of your head. At minimum, it should reach the top of your ears. It should be no farther than four inches from the back of your head. Head restraints have improved markedly in recent years. Ninety-five percent of cars manufactured in 2014 earned a "good" rating by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IHHS). That's up from just 12% for 2005 models. PEMCO partnered with IIHS in the early 1990s to urge improved head restraint design.

Seat cushion. Make sure it's tilted so it evenly supports your entire thigh (without pressure points) and the edge doesn't touch the back of your knees.

Mirrors. Once your seat is in place, adjust your mirrors. A quick rule of thumb: Your mirrors are in the right position if, when a vehicle leaves your field of vision in your rearview mirror, it appears immediately in one of your side mirrors.


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