According to Harvard Health Watch, the average person spends 101 minutes a day driving. That equals approximately 37,935 hours of driving in an average lifetime. With all that time sitting upright in a vehicle, it starts to take a toll on the body. Especially on longer trips, people begin to situate themselves to a comfortable position to make the drive more tolerable. However, most vehicles are not designed for numerous seating positions.
Getting into a car collision is always a possibility. Although you may not be able to completely avoid a crash, you and your passengers can reduce the severity of your injuries by practicing good vehicle posture and following regulated safety procedures. Studies show that poorly positioned drivers and passengers have an increased risk of injury if they get into an accident.
The Effects of Your Seating Posture in an Accident
How you are positioned in a car can significantly impact your injuries in the event of a crash. Your injuries can be far more severe or even fatal, if you do not have good posture as a driver or a passenger. Also, it is crucial that you and your passengers follow regulated safety procedures in a vehicle. For example, if the passenger sitting up front does not meet the height or age requirements, in the event of an accident, their risk of suffering catastrophic injuries or death is much more likely.
Tips for Practicing Good Driving Posture
You can alleviate many posture-related discomforts while driving in a car and reduce the risk of injury in an accident by practicing the following postures:
- Support your back. You should slide your tailbone as close as possible to the seat back. If your car does not allow for the proper position, you should use a lumbar or back cushion.
- Lift your hips. Try to adjust your seat so that your thighs are supported along their entire length and your knees are slightly lower than your hips. This position allows an increased circulation to your back.
- Don’t sit too close to the dashboard. This tip applies whether you are a driver or passenger in a car. As a driver, you should be able to comfortably reach the pedals and completely press them with your entire foot while maintaining 10 inches or more from the steering wheel.
- Adjust the height of your seat. You should adjust the height of your seat so your eye level is at least three inches above the steering wheel.
- Lean back slightly. You should angle your seat only a little greater than a perpendicular 90 degrees. If you lean too far back, it can force you to push your head and neck forward, causing neck and shoulder pain.
- Adjust your mirrors. You can also avoid neck strain by making sure your rear-view and side mirrors are adjusted to your eye level. Adjust the mirrors so that you can see the traffic behind you without having to crane your neck.
If you or a loved one have been injured in an accident caused by the negligence of another party, you should discuss your legal options with an attorney as you may be entitled to compensation. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Samer Habbas & Associates have achieved over $135 million for their clients so far. For more information or to schedule a FREE consultation with one of the attorneys, call 949-727-9300.