Proper Driver Seat Position


The first step toward driving your car properly is making sure your driver's seat is positioned correctly. This isn't a difficult task, but there are a few key areas to which you need to pay attention. Once you know what you're looking for, you'll be sitting pretty in no time.

Adjust Before You Drive

  • DeKalb County police officer Paul Braun strongly advises that you make any and all necessary adjustments before you begin driving. This is especially important if you're not the only one driving your car---even if you're not different heights. Your preferences might differ from someone else's, so it's always important to check. Some cars feature seats with memory settings for multiple driver situations--an option you might consider next time you're in the market for a car.

Elbows and Knees

  • If it's at all stressful for you to reach the steering wheel or to press all of the pedals down to the floor, you need to move your seat further forward. Ideally, you should have a slight bend in both your elbows and your knees, allowing you the freedom of movement you need to safely and effectively operate your vehicle. This also ensures that your airbag has proper room to expand and do its job in the event of a crash.

Sight Lines

  • In addition to being able to slide your driver's seat forward and backward, most modern cars have seat height adjustment devices (knobs, buttons or levers). This can be a great help if you share driving duties of a single car with someone who's a foot taller or shorter than you are. Raise or lower the seat to make sure you can see all the way around--including past the end of the hood of your car. If your seat is too high, your head may hit the top of the roof--which is definitely not safe in the event of an accident, or merely a sudden stop. If your seat is too low, you might not be able to see very well beyond your dashboard, let alone the hood of your car. Make sure to adjust your seat so you can clearly see everything around you.


  • Most people probably don't think about adjusting the headrest when they're adjusting their seats, but it's a very important safety device. Make sure it's positioned where it will support your head well if you lean back from your driving position. This can aid immensely in the event of a crash.

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