The Ergonomics of Driving - An Information Bulletin

Many High Mileage business drivers report lower back, shoulder and neck discomfort but don’t make the connection between these symptoms and their driving position. This is due to the fact that musculoskeletal problems such as these develop slowly over time.

They are rarely caused by a one-off event. It is the small trauma repeated many times over months and years that eventually result in pain and discomfort.

For this reason a small correction in the driving position can often result in a large improvement in driving comfort. From both a comfort and safety point of view the single most important consideration for high mileage business drivers is correct adjustment of the driving position.

To make sure you are sitting comfortably at the wheel follow the simple step-by-step guide (below) to the correct adjustment of your seat and controls.

  1. Start with the seat backrest upright, the seat fully lowered and fully pushed back. Then raise the seat height for a clear view of the instrument panel and the road ahead

  2. Next, slide the seat forwards so that the clutch pedal can be comfortably depressed without any twisting of the hips.

  3. Check that the seat supports at least half the length of the thighs and adjust seat tilt if the seat has this facility

  4. If available, adjust the lumbar pad on the backrest to give good support in the lower back

  5. Adjust steering wheel height and reach so hands rest comfortably in ten-to-two position, arms bent slightly at the elbow. Adjust head restraint to support the back of the head (not back of the neck). Seatbelt lies across the top of your shoulder and never rubs against your neck or falls onto your arm.

  6. Finally, check the adjustment of the rear view mirror and door mirrors and check for any blind spots.

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