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Tips for Comfortable Driving

If you spend hours behind the wheel it is important to be comfortable to avoid musculoskeletal problems related to driving. If you drive for a living, it is crucial to get your posture right and follow some easy tips to keep your body healthy and prevent workplace injuries.

Potential ergonomic risks associated with driving:
  • Awkward positions.
  • Prolonged positions.
  • Whole body vibration.
Let's get your position right first.

There are two factors to consider when getting into position for driving.

  • The position must be comfortable so that it can be maintained throughout the journey and to avoid gradual onset of problems such as low back pain.
  • The position must accommodate all the body movements required for safe and efficient driving.
How to position your car seat for driving:
  • Starting position:
  • Raise the seat as high as possible to maximize your vision of the road without causing your head and neck movements to be restricted.
  • Move the seat forward until you can easily depress the clutch and accelerator pedals. You may also need to raise the seat to allow good pedal control.
  • Tilt the seat cushion up or down to support your thighs along the length of the cushion.
  • Adjust the back rest so that it supports the full length of your back, right up to your shoulders.
  • Adjust the lumbar support to fit the curve of your lower back. There should be even pressure along your spine, with no gaps. If your vehicle doesn't have a lumbar support you may need to use a lumbar cushion. Your physiotherapist can help you choose a cushion with a good shape for your spine.
  • Lower the steering wheel and move it towards you for easy reach. When your hands are positioned at "ten o'clock and two o'clock" your elbows should be slightly flexed. Check that you can still see the display panel and that your legs are clear of the wheel when you use the pedals.
  • Adjust your head rest so that the top of the rest is level with the top of your head. In the event of an accident, this will minimize whiplash injury.
  • Adjust the mirrors so that you can use them without straining your neck or body.

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