News - Looking after yourself

What’s the best driving position?

The average Briton drives almost 7,500 miles a year, and although that might be lower if you live in London, it’s still important to be comfortable in your car. Most of us don’t think about how we should be sitting in the car. As long as we can touch the pedals, see out of the front and turn the steering wheel, that’s ok, right?

Well, it might be, but what is the best driving position?

The following tips will help ensure your weight is distributed evenly and your body is supported as much as possible.

  • Move the seat to as high as is comfortable so you can see fully out of the windscreen. Make sure your head isn’t touching the roof, but you want to be able to see as much as possible.
  • Move your seat forward so you have a slight bend in the knee when you press the clutch pedal fully. Your leg shouldn’t be fully stretched, but not so cramped it’s touching the console.
  • Adjust the tilt of the seat so your thighs are supported along length of the seat, but not touching the backs of your knees. If the pressure is uneven it can cause knee pain and restrict your circulation.
  • The back of the seat should be in contact with the full length of your back, up to your shoulders. The seat back should be at an approximate 100 to 110 degree angle to support your lower back. You don’t want your seat to recline too far as this causes you to bend your neck forward and this then puts pressure on your spine. You can add a lumbar support cushion if your lower back is not supported.
  • Move the steering wheel. Move it downwards and backwards so you can see the display panel fully and your legs aren’t touching the steering wheel. Your elbows should be low. If your elbows are reaching forward and up it can put strain on your neck and back.
  • Move the head rest so the centre of it is higher than your ears. This helps protect your head in case of an accident.

Some cars might not let you make as many adjustments as this, but do try to do as much of this as possible.

Finally, if you drive for a long time, try to take a break after two hours and go for a quick walk or do some light stretches to give your body a break. This is not only good for your back, but also for your hands, as gripping the steering wheel for long periods can contribute to carpal tunnel syndrome.