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3 tips for driving with the right body position

Making sure your body is aligned with your vehicle's controls helps you driver safer. If you're seated too far away, it can make it hard to press the brake or acceleration, just as sitting too close can make it hard to steer. Here are some tips on how to adjust your car for the best driving experience.

1. Sit down correctly

To drive, you need to be comfortable but in an upright position. Sit with the head restraint around three inches behind your head and no higher than slightly above your ears if possible. You should be seated so that you can reach the acceleration and brake pedals without lifting your heel. If you're shorter than 5-foot-3-inches tall, then consider purchasing pedal extensions if your pedals do not adjust on their own.

2. Adjust the steering column to an appropriate position. Some cars even have steering columns that push back or pull forward for the best positioning while driving. Try to sit at least 10 inches away from the steering wheel to prevent injuries from airbags in an accident.

3. Place your hands correctly. Drivers should try to keep their hands at 3 o' clock and 9' o clock or 8 o' clock and 4 o'clock depending on the position of the wheel. This hand position helps you keep control of the steering wheel. Position your thumbs alongside the steering wheel, not through the center openings; if the wheel is pulled out of your hands, it could result in broken fingers if they are in the negative spaces.

These are just a few ways drivers can stay safer behind the wheel. If someone hits you because of driving without both hands on the wheel or because of distractions, you may be able to make a claim.

Source: Senior Driving AAA, "Your Body’s Fit with the Vehicle," accessed Feb. 17, 2017

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