DIY

Finding the Sweet Spot for your Seating Position

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Safety should be your utmost concern when you drive. Before you even start the engine, the first safety check you should do is with yourself. Making sure you are seated the right way, with all your navigation tools ready and accessible are some of the best things you can do to ensure an accident free and enjoyable ride. Seating and mirror adjustments are highly dependent of each other. Having the correct seating position will let you adjust the mirrors correctly. Comfort, safety, and functionality are the things you should factor in when finding your correct seating position. Follow these steps on how to find the sweet spot.

Seats

Before we walk you through how to adjust your driver’s seat, let’s walk through the different types of seats. In higher specifications, vehicles can be equipped with electric seats, and even seats with a memory function for the driver.

Adjusting your seat is quite straightforward for most cars. Forward and backward adjustment can be done by pulling a lever underneath the seat. This brings the whole seat closer, or further from the steering wheel. Some cars have this lever at the 11 o’clock position or the 1 o’clock position of the seat cushion. Adjust the backrest by pulling a lever located at the lower left side of your seat. Other vehicles may be equipped with a rotary adjuster found at the lower left side of the backrest. Some seats are equipped with height adjustment which can be utilized by pumping a lever on the lower left side of the seat.

Car seats nowadays have different styles and features. Most common seat types are the bench seats, split seats, bucket seats, and sports seats.

Steps to Finding Your Seating Position

  1. Adjust how close you are to the steering wheel.
    • Place one of your feet flat on the car floor. This will make pushing or pulling the seat much easier.
    • Pull the lever which adjusts your seat forward or backward.
    • Adjust the seat and stop at a distance you believe is sufficient for your feet to reach the pedals.
    • Place your feet on the pedals.

Note that your knees need to be slightly bent while your feet are resting on the pedals. Even though you should only be moving your ankles to shift from one pedal to another, having the space to fully extend your leg on the brake pedal during an emergency for maximum breaking force is essential. This is possible by having a slight bend at all times.

  1. Adjust your backrest.
    • Sit back into the seat.
    • Lift the lever and adjust the backrest pitch up or down.
    • Fully stretch your arms out to rest your wrists on top of the steering wheel.

Note that your elbows need to be bent slightly when your hands rest at the 9 o’clock and 3 o’clock position on the steering wheel. Stretching your arms and resting your wrists on top of the steering wheel will place you in the optimum position.

Do not sit up right, or with the backrest at a 90-degree position from the seat. This will make driving uncomfortable, and increase chest injury during an accident.

  1. Adjust your headrest.
    • Press the button located at the plastic base of the headrest.
    • Adjust the headrest higher or lower to support the back of your head.

Note that your head should NOT be resting on the headrest. Headrests are used to catch your head in the event of an accident, preventing your neck from getting whiplash. Make sure to have a fist sized gap between your head and the headrest.

Being properly seated in your car will give you maximum comfort and relaxation. It will also lessen driving fatigue.

Additional Steps

  1. Adjust your seat height.
    • Adjust the seat higher or lower in order to have a comfortable view of the vehicle’s surroundings.
  2. Adjust your steering wheel.
    • Pull the lever underneath the steering column.
    • Adjust the distance of the steering wheel along with the height to comfortably rest your arms during normal driving.

Mercedes-Benz has revolutionized the car seat with years of listening to what their customers want. Their vehicles have massage, heating, and cooling along with passive safety features. In an event of an accident the driver’s seat in a Mercedes-Benz will adjust in a split second, positioning the driver in the optimum position for the airbag. With that in mind you can see that seating position goes beyond comfort, but is essential to your safety. So make sure to take 3 minutes in your car to properly adjust your seat.

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CarParts.com

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In the Garage with CarParts.com is an online blog dedicated to bringing DIYers and devoted car enthusiasts up to date with topical automotive news and lifestyle content. Our writers live and breathe automotive, taking the guess work out of car repairs with how-to content that helps owners get back on the road and keep driving.

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