How To Set Up The Perfect Seating Position When Learning To Drive

It’s great if your parents or relatives are giving you extra driving practice by letting you practice in their car but it can be quite hard to know how to set up the seating when you move between vehicles. What many learners don’t realize is that it’s far easier to drive safely and responsibly when you have the correct seating position. It not only ensures that you have the best view of the surroundings outside the car and the instrumentation panel inside, it also prevents fatigue which may contribute to mistakes.

How To Adjust Seat Distance For Optimum Safety


Let’s jump in and get the seat into the right spot. It’s important to know that most cars come with a steering wheel mounted air bag. When setting the perfect seating position, it’s important to realize that you need adequate space between you and the wheel to give the airbag the best chance of helping you in the event of an accident. The best way to do this if you have a car with manual gears is to push down on the clutch with your left leg and then slide the seat forward or back so that you can safely depress it without stretching or being cramped. Sliding the seat back and forth along it’s runners will give you the correct seating distance for your hips.

How To Make Your Shoulders And Arms Comfortable

Now let’s turn our attention to the incline of the seat. If your seat is set on too much on an incline you may not be able to reach all of the controls of the car. The pain of straining for things will contribute to mistakes such as selecting the wrong gear. Adjust the seat back so that when you outstretch your arms, your wrists rest comfortably on the top of the steering wheel. When your shoulders are coming out away from the seat back, you are still too far away and need to make the seat back more upright.

Top Tip: Is The Steering Column Adjustable?

You should always check whether the steering column can be adjusted up or down, or in and out. This lets you alter the wheel to give you a perfect view of the instrumentation cluster without having to move your seat!

The Perfect Hand Position

Imagine that the steering wheel is a clock and your left hand is the clock’s minute hand while your right hand is the hour hand. The perfect driving position will be between the 9 and 3 position and the ‘Ten-to-two’ position as if an analogue clock is showing 1:50. Somewhere between these two positions will help you stay safe and drive well. These positions give you optimum control over the wheel while being able to react to other controls when you drive.

Set Your Mirrors Up

Almost finished, just one last check to make; your mirrors! Although it can be a challenge to remember to check your mirrors before you change speed or direction, mirrors will, one day, save your life. Once you’ve found the perfect seating position, ensure that your rear-view mirror gives you the view you need and that your side-view mirrors are perfectly adjusted. Console-mounted side-mirror adjustment controls are invaluable as you can set them up while remaining in your seated position.

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