Many patients that are brought into emergency rooms following car crashes have injuries as a result of sitting incorrectly in their seats. In particular, women tend to be more vulnerable to injuries as a result of sitting too close to the steering wheel.
The managing director of MasterDrive, Eugene Herbert, says there are a few tips that one can follow to ensure they are protected from further injury as a result of incorrect seating position. “The first tip is to ensure that the distance of your seat allows your limbs to bend, whether you press the brakes fully, or not.
“If you have a collision, bent knees and ankles prevents these joints from taking the full brunt of the impact if you are compressing the brakes fully. This reduces the chance of breaking a bone as a result.”
Additionally, incline your seat so that you bend your elbows rather than lock them when you hold the steering wheel. “Locked arms limit range of motion when moving the steering wheel and reduce possible evasive action in a crash.
“If you do collide with an object, locked arms will result in injuries to your elbows and shoulders. Your seat inclination should allow for bent elbows and free movement of the steering wheel. The ideal position is where your shoulders rest on the seat and if you extend your arms in front of you, your wrists rest on the steering wheel.”
There are also a number of other safety aspects to consider when positioning your seat in the car. “Adjust the height of your steering wheel so that the cockpit is clearly visible. Your hands should be placed in the three and 9 o’ clock positions to allow for optimal range and control of the steering wheel.
“Your headrest should also be adjusted to your specific stature. The headrest is there to protect your neck from whiplash and other serious injury in a collision. Raise or lower the headrest until it is in line with the top of your head. This will prevent your head from snapping forcefully backwards.”
Lastly is the positioning of your seatbelt. “Seatbelts are vital in protecting you during a collision. Avoid letting your seatbelt rest in the crook of your neck. It should run across your shoulder so that in the case of an impact it distributes the impact evenly across the strongest parts of your body,” says Herbert.
While drivers may do their best to avoid collisions, ultimately, they can still happen. If it does, drivers must be sure that they are seated in a way that will minimise the damage to their bodies as much as possible.