Adjust the driving seat so that you can see all round and reach the hand and foot controls comfortably and easily.

Distance to pedals

You need to be able to push the left foot pedal down fully with your left foot without over stretching. When adjusting the seat, your right leg should be able to reach the accelerator and brake pedals comfortably and have a slight bend in it (about 15 degrees). Be careful to not go too close because it makes the clutch difficult to control if your legs are too bent.

Check seat is locked in place

To do so, hold the steering wheel with one hand and pull the lever at the side/beneath the seat with your other hand so that you can move the seat to the correct position. Release the lever when you are happy with the seat position and push yourself back in the seat to make sure it is locked in place. It could be dangerous if your seat suddenly shifts while you’re driving.

Can you reach all around the steering wheel? Push your shoulder into the back of the seat, and put your arms out in front of you at the top of the steering wheel, now adjust the back of the seat so your wrists are on top of the steering wheel rim (not your hand or arm but your wrist).

Seating position and safety

The problems of drivers suffering from back, neck or shoulder pains can be made worse by bad driver position in the vehicle, poor posture and long time spent in a sitting position behind the wheel. To reduce the risk of such problems occurring and to provide you with improved neck, and spine protection, the following should be adopted:

  • The lower chest should come forward and up in order to relax the shoulder blades, back and downwards.
  • Shoulder blades should be in good contact with the back of the seat.
  • The lower spine should not push into the back support.

You can adjust the angle of the back of the seat by the lever/knob on the side of the seat so that you are comfortable, you can see clearly over the steering wheel, and you can move your arms freely. As well, you may need to move the steering wheel up or down so you can see the speedometer clearly if the car you are in has that option.

Head restraint

Adjust the head restraint so that it will protect your head and neck. Reach behind you and raise or lower the restraint so that the rigid part is at least as high as the top of your ears and as close as is comfortable to the back of your head (note that in some vehicles the position of the head restraint is fixed). This gives you the best protection in the event of a crash.

Adjust the head restraint so that it will protect your head and neck

Make sure the back of the seat is adjusted so you feel like you can comfortably use the steering wheel.