Improving one’s posture and preventing back pains are often the most significant benefits people associate with a proper sitting position. While this is true, sitting properly also helps you be more productive and more focused. If you slouch around, it can easily make you feel uncomfortable and restless, which leads to unproductivity and loss of concentration.
This same reasoning applies to driving – if you are seated poorly, you can’t place your 100% focus on the road. That’s why the way that you are seated plays a major role in your road safety. If you’re unsure how you can make the proper seat adjustments, read on and find out more so that you can drive comfortably and get to your destination safely.
1. Know your height and adjust the seat accordingly
With most car seats, you have to shift the seat height based on how tall (or short) you are. When you are adjusting the height of the driver’s seat, ensure your eye level is about 8cm above the top of the steering wheel so that you can see the road clearly. Additionally, your head shouldn’t be too close to the car’s roof to prevent your head from bumping against it when driving across uneven terrain.
Ensure that your knees are on the same level as your hips by adjusting the car seat upwards. If you’ve reached the seat’s maximum height and it is still too low, you can use some pillows or cushions to add some height to the seat and give you a boost.
2. Adjust the backrest accordingly
When driving, ensure you can see both the road and your speedometers clearly. It can be uncomfortable to sit at a 90-degrees angle for a prolonged period. Therefore, you should consider reclining the seat to around the 100-110 degrees angle as that is the optimal position which provides drivers with the most visual clearance.
One simple way to tell whether you are reclining your backrest too much or too little is to try and see if you are slouching to reach the steering wheel, or if your arms are too straight when you get a grip on the wheel and lean back.
If you are slouching too much, your neck and back might get feel uncomfortable and sore especially if you are going for a long drive. And if you are leaning too far back, your control over the steering wheel is compromised. You wouldn’t want either of these outcomes to happen, so adjust your backrest to an angle that provides you with comfort and control while giving you a maximum view of the road.
3. Hold the steering wheel properly
Picture the steering wheel as a clock – as a general rule of driving, you should place your left hand at 9 o’clock and your right hand at 3 o’clock sides. Alternatively, you can also place your left hand at 10 o’clock and your right one at 2 o’clock. Whichever makes you feel comfortable, either of the two is fine because these give you maximum control.
But one common mistake that most beginner drivers make is that they mix their hand positions up when making a slow turn. Take note to avoid doing this because it can compromise the control that you have over the steering wheel.
4. Know the car that you will be driving
If you’re going for a car rental service in Singapore, it’s good practice to know the car you will rent before hitting the road so that you will get a feel for it. Since each car model and brand is all made differently, you might feel more comfortable in one over the other. Be sure to talk to the vendor for a test drive if possible before you go ahead in renting a car.
5. Rest your feet accordingly
Depending on the type of vehicle you are driving, where you rest your feet differs if you’re driving an automatic or a stick-shift. If you’re driving a stick shift or manual, see to it that you always keep your left foot on the dead pedal when not in use. If you’re driving an automatic, you can just focus on placing your right foot on either the gas or the brake, whichever is necessary.
Before renting any car, see to it that you can drive it comfortably to maximise your safety. Make sure that you are seated properly, you can see the road well, you know where to place your hands and feet, and that you know how your car runs.
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