Your driving posture, and seat location, can influence the severity and type of injuries you sustain in a car accident. Most vehicle manufacturers design their vehicle’s safety features under the assumption that all passengers will maintain proper seating posture. For example, your seatbelt and airbags work optimally only if you assume the correct driving posture.
What is the Correct Posture for Driving?
When driving, you should position your seat in a manner that takes the most strain off of your body. For example, you should sit upright with your feet flat on the floor. Position your knees at least two fingers away from the front of your seat; you should be able to fully compress the accelerator and brake without straining your knees or ankles.
Furthermore, keep your back firmly pressed against the upper seat and keep your hips level with your knees. Keeping your hips and knees level will reduce the strain on your lower back; reducing your chances of a back injury if an accident occurs.
A properly positioned headrest will reduce the severity of whiplash injuries that may occur after an auto accident. Position your headrest so that the top of it rests just above your head. Additionally, make sure you are not sitting too close to the dashboard of your vehicle. Studies show drivers who sit too close to the dashboard are more likely to suffer from severe head, neck, and chest injuries after a car accident.
How Should I Position my Seat to Attain Proper Driving Posture?
First, adjust the height of your seat, so that you can see both the road and your dashboard. However, you should not be sitting so high that you have to bend to see the road. You should also make sure you raise your lower seat so that your hips and knees are level. To ensure the correct positioning of your hips and knees, position the bottom portion of your seat to lie as horizontally as possible.
Previously, it was thought that you should position the bottom portion of your seat at an angle, with the front end raised slightly higher than the rear of the seat. This position was encouraged due to the belief that this positioning would help prevent you from slipping out of your seatbelt in the event of an auto accident. However, modern seat belts have pre-tensioners, which prevent you from slipping out of your seatbelt when you brake or get into an accident.
What is the Safest Seat in a Passenger Vehicle?
Statistically, the safest seat in a motor vehicle is the rear middle seat, giving the occupant a 25% greater chance of survival when in a car accident. The rear middle seat is protected from head-on collisions as well as sideswipes, attributing to its safety rating. However, this seat is only the safest location so long as the passenger wears a seatbelt. Without a seatbelt, the rear middle passenger is three times more likely to suffer a fatality.
Were you or someone you know involved in a recent auto accident? Call Auto Accident Care Network now at 801-683-1948 to connect with a live care advocate. Our team at AACN can connect you to trusted attorneys and doctors to schedule a free legal consultation, a free thirty-minute massage, and a no-cost medical exam!