How to Properly Adjust the Driver's Seat

Sitting properly and comfortably in the driver's seat is an important part of car safety. A seat that doesn't offer enough leg room or back support, or a seat that sits at the wrong height, can cause poor posture, discomfort, and a lack of control—all of which increase the likelihood of an accident on the road. For proper seating, there are several factors to consider: seat tilt, angle, and height; leg room; and lumbar support. These can all be adjusted to ensure that you are driving comfortably and safely.

01
of 05

Leg Room

Driver's Seat Adjustment - Leg Room
Driver's Seat Adjustment - Leg Room. Chris Adams, copyright 2010, Licensed to About.com

Adjusting the driver's seat in your car for proper leg room is easy. Your legs should not be scrunched up, nor should you have to reach with them to use the pedals. Slide the seat to a position where your thigh is relaxed and supported, and where you can operate the pedals with just your foot. You should be able to pick up your foot when operating the pedals without any discomfort.

When you are sitting in the driver's seat, your knees should be slightly bent. Locking your knees can reduce circulation and may lead to you becoming woozy or even passing out.

Your legs and pelvis should have ample room to move and shift position without detracting from your driving. This will relieve pressure points and keep blood circulating during long drives. Staying in a cramped position for too long may lead to health problems such as deep vein thrombosis.

02
of 05

Seat Tilt

Driver's Seat Adjustment - Seat Tilt
Driver's Seat Adjustment - Seat Tilt. Chris Adams, copyright 2010, licensed to About.com

One aspect that is often overlooked when adjusting the driver's seat is the tilt of the seat. Proper adjustment increases the ergonomics of your driving posture and makes things a lot more comfortable.

Tilt the seat so that it supports your bottom and your thighs evenly. You don't want pressure points at the end of the seat. If possible, make sure that your thighs extend past the seat so that it does not touch the back of your knees.

03
of 05

Seat Angle

Driver's Seat Adjustment - Back Angle
Driver's Seat Adjustment - Back Angle. Chris Adams, copyright 2010, licensed to About.com

While many people do adjust the angle of the seat before they drive, many do it improperly. It is easy to leave the seat in a position that is too relaxed or too extreme for best driving.

Recline the back between 100-110 degrees. This angle supports your upper body while maintaining an upright and attentive posture.

If you don't have a huge protractor handy, recline the seat so that your shoulders are no longer in line with your hips but are solidly behind them.

04
of 05

Seat Height

Driver's Seat Adjustment - Seat Height
Driver's Seat Adjustment - Seat Height. Chris Adams, copyright 2010, licensed to About.com

Many people do not even realize that you can adjust the height of the driver's seat. Doing so can dramatically improve your driving ergonomics and comfort.

Raise the seat so that you have a good view out the windshield, but not so high that your legs will interfere with the steering wheel. Once you have adjusted the seat height, you may need to readjust your leg room.

05
of 05

Lumbar Support

Driver's Seat Adjustment - Lumbar Support
Driver's Seat Adjustment - Lumbar Support. Chris Adams, copyright 2010, licensed to About.com

Lumbar support for your lower back can be a saving grace during long drives, or during drives of any length if you suffer from back pain. If your car seat does not have integrated lumbar support, you can buy a strap-on cushion.

Adjust the lumbar support so that the curve of your spine is evenly supported. Make sure not to overdo it. You want a gentle, even support, not one that will push your spine into an S-shape.

Format
mla apa chicago
Your Citation
Adams, Chris. "How to Properly Adjust the Driver's Seat." ThoughtCo, Apr. 28, 2018, thoughtco.com/properly-adjust-the-drivers-seat-1206269. Adams, Chris. (2018, April 28). How to Properly Adjust the Driver's Seat. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/properly-adjust-the-drivers-seat-1206269 Adams, Chris. "How to Properly Adjust the Driver's Seat." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/properly-adjust-the-drivers-seat-1206269 (accessed May 23, 2018).