- Remove wallets, purses or any other items from your back pocket that might push you into an awkward position.
- To get in the car. Sit on the seat and then swing your legs in.
- To get out. Swing your legs out of the car, and then stand up.
- If you plan to start lifting items out of your boot. Especially if it has been a longer drive. Wait a few minutes after getting out the car before you start lifting.
THE FOLLOWING TIPS SHOULDN’T COMPROMISE YOUR SAFETY IN THE CAR. THINK ABOUT YOUR SEATED POSITION WHEN DRIVING, AND MAKE THE APPROPRIATE CHANGES WHERE POSSIBLE.
- SEAT HEIGHT. The seat needs to be at a height where you can clearly view the road. Ideally your knees should be the same level, or just below your hips. Sitting on a cushion or wedge might help. Don’t go so high that you’re hitting your head, or having to crane your neck. You need to a) be able to reach the pedals, b) have enough head-room not to collide with anything in the car, c) feel comfortable to hold the steering wheel and the gearstick.
- ADJUST THE SEAT IN ITS FORWARD-BACKWARD POSITION. Sit so you can depress the pedals fully and you’re comfortable. You shouldn’t be twisting, slumping or leaning to use the pedals.
- LOOK AT THE SEAT BACK. Tilt the seat back to 100/110 degrees. Your bottom and back should as far back into the seat as possible.
- HEAD REST.This is for support whilst driving, but also for protection if you have an accident. The middle of the back of your head should be on the rest. Try and make sure your head rests above your shoulders, so your head is neither pushed forward nor allowed to drop backwards.
- LOWER BACK SUPPORT. You’re hopefully sitting right back into the seat. So make sure in this position there is no gap between the seat and the small of your lower back. This not only supports the lower back, but will hold your upper back, neck and shoulders in a good position too. Many cars have adjustable support, but adding a support or cushion may be necessary.
- TILT SEAT BASE. Ideally your knees should be level with or just below your hips. Make sure there is even pressure across your thighs, and the seat isn’t pressing into the back of your knees.
- STEERING WHEEL. To keep your shoulders relaxed whilst driving, have the steering wheel down and towards you. So as low as possible without interfering with your knees, and make sure you can see the dashboard. Use the telescopic function on the steering wheel to bring it closer if necessary. Holding the wheel in the 9 and 3 o’clock position should help keep your shoulders more relaxed.
- YOU PROBABLY NEED TO ADJUST YOUR MIRRORS NOW!