Do you find driving to be a pain? Maybe it's the way you sit. Here are some ways to stay comfortable and safe when you're behind the wheel.
First, let's get lined up in the seat and it all starts with getting your lower body into the seat like you should. Get your lower back all of the way back in the seat, sit up straight and adjust the back rest of the seat so that it is supporting you from top to bottom.
When you are sitting in your seat, your arms should be able to comfortably reach the steering wheel with a slight bend at the elbows. Being back too far will cause wrist, elbow and shoulder strain and being closer than 10 inches from the wheel is dangerous because of the air bag.
You should have your legs slightly bent as well, but should never have to lock your legs straight out to press the pedals all of the way down. Some newer vehicles have electrically adjustable pedals that you can move closer or farther away to help you reach the pedals at just the right angle.
Having the front of the seat base up too high will cause discomfort in your legs due to lack of circulation. If this happens to you, lower the front of the seat down or raise the back of the seat up until your legs are evenly supported. If your seat doesn’t adjust that way, get a seat pad to help support your legs from your hips to your knees.
Once you are lined up, adjust your rear view mirrors. Use your inside mirror as a reference point from time to time to make sure that you are not slouching out of position. If you can’t see traffic behind you anymore, you know that you are slouching down and you need to get yourself back up into position.
Supporting the lower back helps relieve back pain and that’s why some seats have a lumbar support that you can adjust. If you don’t have lumbar support, rolling a small towel up in a tube shape or buying a foam lumbar roll can do the same thing.
There are a lot of other products that you can buy that make a huge difference for lower back pain. From cushions that slide in behind your back to full supports that are custom contoured to your body, the options are endless. Buying a product such as this can make your drive a lot more comfortable.
If you are having trouble getting in and out of your seat because of a bad back or some other issue, you might find it easier if you back your way into the seat from the side and sit down in the seat first, then swing your legs around and into the vehicle. It’s a lot easier and you simply reverse the process to get back out.
One last tip for the guys. If you have your wallet in the same pocket all of the time, that might be causing your back to tilt to one side when you are driving, causing discomfort. Try putting it in the other back pocket or in a front pocket when you drive and you just might get rid of that “pain in the back."