AR15.Com Archives
 Proper driving position...how far do you sit from the steering wheel ?
SPECTRE  [Team Member]
7/18/2008 4:19:39 PM EST
Is there a rule of thumb when it comes to the correct way to sit in the drivers seat ?
How close do you sit to the steering wheel ?
How close is too close ?
Do you use your whole foot on the pedals or do you strecth and reach for them a little bit ?
I prefer to sit a bit back but my wife says I sit too far back.
Is there a correct ergonomic position ?
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DD977GM2  [Team Member]
7/18/2008 4:20:45 PM EST
With airbags, stay as far back as possible, I have heard at least 10 inches so youdont get really messed up in a head on.
I stay at least 12 inches back and that is fine since I have long arms and legs.
MNGuns  [Team Member]
7/18/2008 4:21:04 PM EST
As far away from the wheel as possible, while still allowing control of the vehicle. I see a lot of people driving on the road with their chest on the wheel, and think to myself "That's gonna hurt", when / if they ever hit something.
fnfal_308  [Member]
7/18/2008 4:21:49 PM EST
Far enough to reach up and flip you off.
tyman  [Team Member]
7/18/2008 4:22:31 PM EST
Chair is all the way back on the track and a slight angle back. I have real long legs so I can never sit too close cuz they get scrunched.
4Kilo12  [Team Member]
7/18/2008 4:26:00 PM EST
As far back as possible
thebeekeeper1  [Site Staff]
7/18/2008 4:26:20 PM EST
As far back (away from the steering wheel) as possible, and as upright as possible. This is safest.

Oh, keeping the head back as much/often as possible is good too--less chance of a whiplash.
Kharn  [Team Member]
7/18/2008 4:26:47 PM EST
At a distance that causes the insides of your wrists to touch the wheel when your arms are fully extended and feet able to be fully flat on the pedal when the pedal is on the floor, with the seat as far to the rear as possible (chest at least 12" from the wheel).

Kharn
vanilla_gorilla  [Team Member]
7/18/2008 4:28:11 PM EST
My seat is as far back as it will go in the Tahoe, with the back set so that my arm is at full extension to reach the wheel.

Subnet  [Life Member]
7/18/2008 4:29:10 PM EST
Until my arms have a slight bend, and I can depress the clutch fully with my leg *almost* straight (slight bend in the knee).
tommyrich  [Team Member]
7/18/2008 4:29:49 PM EST
As far back as the seat will go, having long legs and arms is a definite advantage.
Subnet  [Life Member]
7/18/2008 4:30:06 PM EST
BTW, is this really how they steer in the UK?


www.youtube.com/watch?v=YraKhQ6Fhjw&feature=related
Waldo0506  [Team Member]
7/18/2008 4:30:08 PM EST
I am tall. I drive a full size truck sitting all the way back with my seat SLIGHTLY reclined.

I tried to find a picture of someone riding gangsta but only found this.

alpha23niner  [Member]
7/18/2008 4:33:11 PM EST
I sit arm's length away from the steering wheel. I have enough leeway to grab the wheel with my hand, but I'm as far back as comfortably possible.
SV650Squid  [Member]
7/18/2008 4:34:52 PM EST
Front/Back distance is for leg length for proper clutch usage.

Seat Incline is for reach to wheel and shifter.
AngeredKabar  [Team Member]
7/18/2008 4:35:58 PM EST
Enough space that I can lock my arms without too much pressure with me pressed back into the seat.
Allrightythen  [Team Member]
7/18/2008 9:11:19 PM EST
As far back as possible. I hate seeing people drive hugging the wheel, especially women. It's just not safe.
diggerwolf  [Team Member]
7/18/2008 9:34:33 PM EST
"As far back as possible" is incorrect. Proper driving position is positioning the seat back so you can rest your wrists on the top of the steering wheel. Any further back is unsafe.

'Gangster lean' = ghey.
DeltaAir423  [Life Member]
7/18/2008 9:48:15 PM EST

Originally Posted By Subnet:
BTW, is this really how they steer in the UK?


www.youtube.com/watch?v=YraKhQ6Fhjw&feature=related



That is actually the perferred steering method now, except for the hand positions (3 and 9 are the accepted standard now). SCCA, and most amublance agencies will dock you points on your driver's test for crossing your arms.
PinePig  [Member]
7/18/2008 9:53:11 PM EST

Originally Posted By tyman:
Chair is all the way back on the track and a slight angle back. I have real long legs so I can never sit too close cuz they get scrunched.


Same here.
fossil_fuel  [Team Member]
7/18/2008 9:55:41 PM EST
As far back as I can comfortably rest my elbows on the center armrest without my knees hitting the steering column.


I'm a big fan of airbags, including side airbags. A guy I knew in highschool died in an accident that he almost definitely would have survived if he had been in a safer, newer car with side airbags.
A_G  [Team Member]
7/18/2008 10:02:55 PM EST

Originally Posted By Kharn:
At a distance that causes the insides of your wrists to touch the wheel when your arms are fully extended and feet able to be fully flat on the pedal when the pedal is on the floor, with the seat as far to the rear as possible (chest at least 12" from the wheel).

Kharn



This is correct. "As far back as possible" doesn't mean ram the seat back as far as it will go, but sit as far back as you can to meet the criteria above.


Sitting too far back impedes your ability to properly control the car if you need to steer aggressively or shift gears.
GhostRing  [Team Member]
7/18/2008 10:08:38 PM EST

Originally Posted By DeltaAir423:

Originally Posted By Subnet:
BTW, is this really how they steer in the UK?


www.youtube.com/watch?v=YraKhQ6Fhjw&feature=related



That is actually the perferred steering method now, except for the hand positions (3 and 9 are the accepted standard now). SCCA, and most amublance agencies will dock you points on your driver's test for crossing your arms.


Yup.

I fact we've been experimenting with a "4 & 8" hold on the wheel.
Quicker to the shifter (no sequential dog-box yet! ) and good
use of upper body to move the wheel quickly. Very handy in gravel drifts.
qcka  [Life Member]
7/18/2008 10:49:14 PM EST

Originally Posted By GhostRing:

Originally Posted By DeltaAir423:

Originally Posted By Subnet:
BTW, is this really how they steer in the UK?


www.youtube.com/watch?v=YraKhQ6Fhjw&feature=related



That is actually the perferred steering method now, except for the hand positions (3 and 9 are the accepted standard now). SCCA, and most amublance agencies will dock you points on your driver's test for crossing your arms.


Yup.

I fact we've been experimenting with a "4 & 8" hold on the wheel.
Quicker to the shifter (no sequential dog-box yet! ) and good
use of upper body to move the wheel quickly. Very handy in gravel drifts.


Well, in traffic school they were recommending the 4 and 8 as well. The reasoning was in the event of a crash and airbag deployment, your arms stay down allowing you to quickly resume control of the wheel if necessary. If you're at the traditional 10 and 2, and the airbag deploys, your arms will be knocked away from the wheel.
GhostRing  [Team Member]
7/18/2008 10:50:36 PM EST
I know,
But we pull the airbags out of the race cars anyway.
Skibane  [Team Member]
7/18/2008 11:33:37 PM EST
Guess I'm the contrarian here...

I like a close-to-the-wheel position, for several reasons:

1. Sitting forward increases the field of view through the mirrors - Moving forward just a couple of inches can make a huge difference in what's visible in the center and side mirrors.

2. It requires less effort to turn the steering wheel when you're positioned close to it - which means less fatigue. Closeness = more leverage = less effort.

While I agree that a close-to-the-wheel position isn't nearly as safe during an accident, the greater mirror visibility helps reduce the chances of having an accident in the first place. Also, it just feels more comfortable and natural - particularly during short trips.
JAR0023  [Team Member]
7/19/2008 4:44:35 AM EST

Originally Posted By Kharn:
At a distance that causes the insides of your wrists to touch the wheel when your arms are fully extended and feet able to be fully flat on the pedal when the pedal is on the floor, with the seat as far to the rear as possible (chest at least 12" from the wheel).

Kharn


+1

You should be able to put you feet flat on the floor behind the pedals and your wrist should reach the top of the steerign wheel w/o leaning forward. My wife used to be the worst offender of this. She would sit so far back she'd have to stretch her foot out and use her toes on the brakes. She also had a habit of tapping cars from behind at a red lights, because she couldn't get stopped in time. Seriously half a dozen instances of vehicle to vehicle contact with no damage. Drove me nuts! We had a long talk once we had our daughter. She now sits close enough.

J

ETA - My first page 2! Next time I try for no edit.
ultramagbrion  [Team Member]
7/19/2008 4:48:28 AM EST
The seat is usually all the way back.
Allrightythen  [Team Member]
7/19/2008 6:26:54 AM EST

Originally Posted By A_G:

Originally Posted By Kharn:
At a distance that causes the insides of your wrists to touch the wheel when your arms are fully extended and feet able to be fully flat on the pedal when the pedal is on the floor, with the seat as far to the rear as possible (chest at least 12" from the wheel).

Kharn



This is correct. "As far back as possible" doesn't mean ram the seat back as far as it will go, but sit as far back as you can to meet the criteria above.
Sitting too far back impedes your ability to properly control the car if you need to steer aggressively or shift gears.


This
DrMark  [Team Member]
7/19/2008 6:31:50 AM EST

Much is driven by how close the seat needs to be so I can comfortably depress the clutch pedal completely.

I had not considered the airbag issue, as we don't own any vehicles with airbags.

avenger44  [Member]
7/19/2008 6:54:24 AM EST
Depends. Are you talking about proper ergonomics and safe driving skills!

Or are you talking about low riding, seat laid back, limp wrist over the steering wheel, arm fully extended, head can barely be seen, I'm a cool son of a gun driving method?
Kharn  [Team Member]
7/19/2008 4:06:08 PM EST

Originally Posted By avenger44:
Depends. Are you talking about proper ergonomics and safe driving skills!

Or are you talking about low riding, seat laid back, limp wrist over the steering wheel, arm fully extended, head can barely be seen, I'm a cool son of a gun driving method?
And the left foot out the window and resting on the mirror. Yes, thats common in MD.

Kharn
AR45fan  [Member]
7/19/2008 4:31:21 PM EST
I go back and forth. I drive a lot because of my long commute so I switch the seats around to stay fresh.
goodoleboy  [Member]
7/19/2008 4:37:58 PM EST

really whatever is most comforable for you where you can see and operate without any problems or blind spots.

Seat track all the to rear, back is set at highest non reclined posistion for me..
pepperbelly  [Team Member]
7/19/2008 4:45:32 PM EST
I move the seat far enough back that your daughterm doesn't get her head stuck between the steering wheel and my,...

Oh wait! You were talking about driving.

Jim
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