While I was at the Lexus Family Safety Camp, the professional drivers gave us pointers to be better, safer drivers. Here are some tips on how to adjust your seating position as a driver.
Adjust your steering wheel so that it’s far enough away that your arms bend comfortably. Ladies, I know that some of you have problems reaching the pedals to drive, but you must have space between your chest and the steering wheel! That airbag will do some serious damage to the girls! And, while you’re adjusting the distance between you and the steering wheel, adjust the angle of the wheel so that it’s aimed at your chest, not your face. You want it aimed at your sturdy chest bones, not your fragile face. If it’s too much to change all at once, try changing just a bit every day or two—you won’t even notice after a week.
Your hand positions should be at 9 o’clock and 3 o’clock or a little lower. If you’ll notice, manufacturers have changed the design of the steering wheel so the hand notches are lower; that’s not just for comfort. We used to be taught to hold the steering wheel at the 10 and 2 o’clock positions, but if you do that now and the airbag deploys, your hands will be forced back at your face. Ouch! Nothing like punching yourself in the face . So keep those hands low and safe.
Adjust your head restraint so that the tops of your ears are midway on the head restraint. If you have adjustable shoulder belts, adjust the height so that the shoulder belt falls midway between your neck and the edge of your shoulder. You may want it a smidge closer to your neck so that you don’t roll out of it in a crash, but don’t make it uncomfortable so that you push it out of position.