After a long trip or at the end of a long week of daily commutes, you have likely felt the stiffness in your back or neck from too much time behind the wheel. You may have had to utilize various pain relief methods in order to lessen the achiness you experienced, but in the end, you may have chalked your discomfort up to aging or the uncomfortable seats in your vehicle.
While age and your vehicle could certainly contribute to body pain after driving, the manner in which you sit, hold your head and situate your arms could also play a role in your feelings of discomfort. Additionally, if you have poor driving posture or do not have your seat in an ideal position, you could be more at risk of suffering serious injuries if you are involved in a car accident.
Fortunately, you can make some relatively minor adjustments to the way you sit behind the wheel that could help you feel more comfortable and improve your safety. Some of those adjustments include the following:
- Sit back: Some people may want to sit close to the steering wheel so their arms do not tire as easily or so they can reach the pedals better. However, sitting too close to the steering wheel could put you at risk of suffering serious head, chest and neck injuries in a crash.
- Back support: Having the right back support can help reduce the likelihood of an achy back later. Of course, some seats may not offer the needed support, and you may need to use a pillow or cushion to get the best support.
- Adjusting your mirrors: If your mirrors are out of line, you may be straining your neck to see without even realizing it. Therefore, you may want to make sure you can comfortably see out of all mirrors and adjust them if you cannot.
- Pull over periodically: If you are traveling a long distance, breaks could greatly relieve your discomfort. Allowing your body to stretch could relieve tension and stress.
- Adjust your headrest: The headrest is another feature that could help prevent serious injuries — like those from whiplash — when used correctly. Ideally, the top of your headrest will stop somewhere between the tops of your ears and the top of your head.
Additionally, being more comfortable behind the wheel may mean that you can pay better attention to driving rather than worrying about your discomfort. Of course, it does not necessarily mean that you can avoid every accident. Another driver could cause a crash that leads to your suffering serious injuries despite your best efforts to stay safe. If so, you may want to consider your legal options for seeking compensation.