Text: Brent Co / Photos: Brent Co | posted July 06, 2005 10:30
You may not drive a nice car, but you'll still look good driving it.
Proper driving position is one of the first steps in road safety. The two most important things you have to remember in proper driving are seating position and hand position. As seating position and hand position affect every part of driving on the road.
Very much contrary to what many think, having a very reclined seating position with your arms fully stretched out does not only look funny and uncool, but is also dangerous. Not only do you minimize your field of vision of the road, as your stretched arms will also make it hard for you to turn your steering wheel in the case of a sudden obstruction on the road which will lead to an accident. So next time you think you wanna look like a gangster or even argue being on a formula driver seating position, think again. Because you are not driving a formula car. Contrary to what you think, you'll look funny driving like this.
The ideal seating position would be slightly reclined with your shoulders comfortably back in the seat. The seat should be moved close to the steering wheel to support the curve of your back and close enough to allow your knees to bend and your feet to reach the pedals. Make sure you can pivot your right foot from the accelerator to the brake pedal and back without lifting your foot. Adjust seat height to correspond to your height to achieve maximum field of vision. Make sure your knees is at the same level as your hips. The next step is to adjust the lumbar support (if available) so that your lower back is in a relaxed position. You arms should also be slightly bent when you hold the steering wheel.
Very contrary to what the driving instructor or whoever might have taught you, your hands shouldn't also be on the 10-o'clock and 2-o'clock position either. You have to put into mind that cars have more advanced safety features now with the airbag being one. Imagine your hands being in the old 10 and 2 position as the airbag deploys, you would be suffering a serious injury and lose control of the vehicle causing a bigger mishap. Remember that safety features can work the other way around when used improperly.
The 9-o'clock and 3-o'clock position is now the correct way to hold the steering wheel with the arms slightly bent at around 30 to 40 degrees. The thumbs must be up and not hooked on the steering wheel. In the case of deployment, the airbag will fill the space you have created for it by holding the steering wheel in this manner giving you the ability to hold the steering wheel and move the car to safety in the event of a collision. Hooked thumbs will most likely result to broken thumbs if the airbags deploy. Always keep in mind the proper driving position as this enhances your ability to react quickly to hazardous situation.
Now that you know the proper driving position, you have just made driving a little more safer for yourself. You may not drive a nice car, but you'll still look good driving it.