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It is not sensible to recline the driver’s seat – this practice can endanger lives

Date: 21/07/2014
Source: DEKRA info

Any motorist who casually reclines his/her seat while driving runs the risk of having a major accident and causing serious injury. If a driver is lolling back in the driving seat, he/she cannot control the vehicle properly or react quickly enough in critical situations. Also, in the event of a crash, the protection normally afforded by a safety belt and airbag is severely compromised if not totally lost. Sitting too close to the steering wheel is not a safe driving position either: it can impede turning the wheel smoothly and often leads to frantic steering.

So what is the ideal seated position?
The driver should sit up straight, shoulders squarely against the back of the seat and buttocks as far back as possible. If you have to make an extreme emergency stop it is important that your legs are not fully stretched out when you press the pedal. The distance to the steering wheel is about right when the driver has the palms of his hands on the upper part of the steering wheel and, with his arms outstretched, his shoulders touch the backrest. When driving, your hands should be in the “quarter to three“ position on the steering wheel and your arms slightly bent.
One essential safety feature is a correctly positioned headrest as this will protect against the dreaded whiplash injury. You know it is properly adjusted if the top of your head is aligned with the top of the headrest. The driving seat is at the right height when the driver’s eyes are about halfway up the windscreen.
To complete precautions for a safe journey, make sure that your seat belt is clean and lies flat and snugly across your body. As the driver, you should also make sure that all passengers in the front and back of the vehicle are strapped in and their headrests properly adjusted.