Ergonomics has become a burning issue because people are concerned about their physical well-being. Any form of work should be done in a way that minimizes unnecessary and harmful physical discomfort. While learning how to steer a car properly is essential, there is more you should learn to increase your driving comfort.
If you regularly spend much of the day or night behind the wheel, driving can take a heavy toll on your mind and body. You don’t want to suffer from back pains after work, so you should discover ways to sit and drive for hours comfortably.
Whether a beginner or an oldie, the following are 9 proven hassle-free tips for improving your driving comfort:
1. Properly Position Your Arms on the Steering Wheel
Before you even position your arms properly, the steering wheel itself should be in the correct position that lets you see other controls. The rule of thumb is that there should be at least 12 inches between your body and the wheel.
With that in place, put your hands slightly lower than your shoulders. Different drivers have different holding styles. Imagine the steering wheel is a clock: you can either use the 9-and-3 position or the 8-and-4 position. Go with what you find more comfortable to minimize straining.
However, note that the 10-and-2 position is considered risky because your hands will directly face and somewhat block the airbags so that you could suffer injuries in case of an accident.
2. Adjust the Driver’s Side Mirror
You do not have to strain your muscles each time you check the driver’s side mirror. First, lean as close to your side window as you can, then adjust the side mirror in a way you can always see the back easily with just a glance.
As you can see, the position of the mirror is partly about your comfort, not just your safety.
3 Adjust the Rear-View Mirror
The rear-view mirror should be positioned such that the back window is right in its center. Like with the side mirror, you should not be overstretching your neck whenever you want to view the rear view.
4 Adjust the Passenger’s Side Mirror
You should be able to see the side back fender through the passenger’s side mirror when you lean to the right with your head in the center of the car.
You can never well see the passenger’s side mirror unless you lean to the right.
5. Adjust Your (Driver’s) Seat
This should be your first task whenever you enter the car. The driver’s seat should be well adjusted for safety and to increase your driving comfort.
These are the factors to consider when adjusting the driver’s seat:
- Pedal Access – the seat position should enable you to reach the pedals without straining your legs. That is, you don’t need to entirely straighten your legs when reaching the pedals, with your back moving away from the back seat. Your knees should only be bent slightly, and the legs not cramped up.
- Seat height – the seat position should enable you to see the dashboard and the road.
- Lumbar support – this is designed with depth to support the curve of your lower back. Adjust the lumbar support such that the low edge is at your belt line. Without a lumbar support cushion, you can shift restlessly on your seat while driving as you try to align the spine.
- Headrest – a headrest rests your head and neck. It should be in the middle of your head so that it can effectively protect your neck in case of an accident.
6. Windshield Sun Shade
A scorching hot car can be uncomfortable. You may want to invest in a windshield sun shade to block the sun.
7. Pull Over and Rest Every Few Hours
What happens when you drive continuously for hours without resting? First, driving becomes less and less fun. Fatigue soon steals in so quietly that you may only realize you were exhausted and drowsy after you hit the car in front or find yourself in a ditch along the road.
To increase your driving comfort, you should pull over and take a break once in a while. Stretch, walk about and take a deep breath. Did you know that drowsy driving is as dangerous as drunk driving?
Do not push yourself to the breaking point when you are behind the wheel.
8. Steering Wheel and Seat Belt Covers
You want a comfortable grip when steering the car, so ensure the steering wheel is cushioned with a soft but tough cover. A hard steering wheel cause pains in your hands.
A seatbelt is vital for your safety, so you have to wear it whenever you are driving. But it can be a discomfort when it rubs against your collarbone. A seatbelt can irritate your skin, therefore slipping a soft cover over it is in order if you want comfortable driving. Invest in seatbelt covers.
9. Add Thick Mats and Rugs on the Floor
If your shoes can’t find a grip on the floor, they would keep sliding all over. That keeps you unsteady.
It is more comfortable when you add thick rugs and mats on the floor to give your feet a firm grip.
Driving can become difficult if you have to strain every day. This can gradually negatively affect your health, especially if you drive long distances every day. You can also make it a habit to do driver exercises each morning before heading to your car.
Along with these tips, you should always choose the right car for the journey. There are various car models, and you have probably realized that not each of them is comfortable for you. Again, a car with many unfixed problems will be uncomfortable to drive, so stop before you even start.
Over the years, Pierre Paul Driving School has trained many New York residents as drivers, many of who have joined the state’s workforce.
The learners are taught the value of safe driving and ways they can keep themselves physically fit for years as drivers.
You should book an appointment with us today, and learn how to increase your driving comfort, shouldn’t you?