Why should you sit up straight

Adjusting the car seat: Tips for the seating position

With the correct seating position in the car, back pain and dangers in emergency situations can be avoided. The most important tips on how to adjust the seat and a lumbar support, and what you should consider when buying a vehicle.

  • Adjust the seat, backrest, steering wheel and headrest individually

  • Lumbar support can prevent back problems

  • There is a risk of danger if you sit in the wrong positionLoss of control in extreme situations

Modern car seats are inHeight, slope and area flexibly adjustable and can usually be completely adapted to individual needs. They should make sitting as comfortable as possible and at the same time offer good support and comfort.

The perfect sitting position

When adjusting the seat height, choose a position in which you can see all around and read the instruments easily. Reference point: Eyes about halfway up the windshield.

The Leading edge of the seat should not too far up so that the thighs are not constricted. The seat should a few inches in front of the hollow of the knee end up.

Slide your buttocks as close as possible to the backrest.

Only move the seat back so far that the knee when stepping on the pedals not stretched out are. The right thigh should not depress the pad.

The ideal distance between the upper body and the airbag steering wheel is approximately 25 to 30 centimeters.

A Seat set too low has a negative effect on the pelvic positioning, as well as on the view of the traffic. Generally, the seat upholstery should not too soft be.

Adjust the backrest correctly

Sit down as upright as possible, this reduces the distance to the headrest and supports the back better than the curved posture if the backrest is adjusted to a greater incline. The shoulder blades should always in contact with the backrest - even if you are driving.

Important: the lumbar support

To support the forward natural curvature of the spine - called lordosis - many vehicles have a built-in and adjustable one Lumbar support in the lumbar area. To adjust this, reach for the adjustment unit to the left of the seat. This is done differently and can be depending on the model Toggle switch or some kind Joystick or dial be. Adjust the lumbar support to the spine as well as possible. You can do this over long distances Prevent back problems.

If the seat does not have a lumbar support, a Pillow is not recommended as a replacement. In extreme and crash situations it can be dangerous, according to the experts at ADAC vehicle technology. An alternative would be Lumbar supports from the accessory tradewhich, however, must be on the backrest Fixed in such a way that it cannot slip must be.

Adjust the steering wheel

The steering wheel should be used for a relaxed posture as steep as possible stand. But set it up so that you can use the Read fittings well can.

As mentioned earlier, the shoulders should always Contact to the backrest - even if you put your wrist on top of the steering wheel rim as a test. In this Test position The following applies: Stretched arms and shoulders on the backrest means an optimal distance from the steering wheel.

With the 9/3 o'clock steering wheel position the driver is the best in command of his vehicle and can react quickest. In this position, the arms should not be straight, but rather slightly angled be. In addition, this attitude offers optimal protection if the driver airbag rises.

Headrest as high as possible

To at the Rear impact optimally protected the headrest should be set as high as possible (top edge to a maximum of the top edge of the head). With a steep backrest, the headrest also moves close to the back of the head.

Incorrect seating position poses a risk

You should absolutely avoid these seating positions in the car:

  • Klammerer: A cramped posture close to the steering wheel tires more, and the small distance to the steering wheel makes quick evasive maneuvers impossible. And: you are in an accident too close to the airbag. As a result, it cannot work optimally and there is even a risk of additional injuries.

  • Diver: At a "Lying" driving position the back loses a lot of contact with the backrest and the distance to the headrest increases dangerously. Fast steering maneuvers in emergency situations become almost impossible. At a Crash are the compressing ones The stress on the spine is significantly greater. The diver becomes a “diver” under the lap belt, as the study “Out of Position” by ADAC Accident Research shows. In addition, the diagonal seat belt is not tight enough upper body moves a lot in the event of a collision unrestrained forward. In the case of a suddenly necessary Emergency braking the pedal pressure may not be sufficient. The backrest surface cannot exert any counterforce here because the driver pushes himself up out of the seat.

  • One-handed driver: With one hand on the lower or upper steering wheel rim every sudden evasive maneuver becomes one incalculable rowing without accuracy. In the event of a sudden blown tire, you can't use full power on the steering wheel to keep the car under control. Apart from that, if the steering wheel is held at 12 o'clock, there is a risk of the airbag being deployed Arm catapulted into face with full force becomes. So the protective airbag becomes a danger. In this steering wheel position is also the Turn signal lever far awayso that the steering wheel has to be released to operate.

Tips for choosing the right seat when buying a car

Ever more setting options a seat offers, the better it can be adapted to the individual driver and the seat belt geometry of the vehicle. Unfortunately, these variants cost mostly surcharge: Adjustment of length, height and inclination for the entire seat, the backrest inclination, the upper part of the backrest, the length of the seat surface, the backrest width (mostly sports seats) as well as the height and distance adjustable headrest.

Try sitting is a must before buying a car, according to the experts at ADAC vehicle technology. You try on every piece of clothing before you buy it. A car must also “fit” the driver. When trying to sit, you can quickly check whether the seats can be adjusted to your own stature or whether the belt is uncomfortable.

Especially with taller people it is not a matter of course that the shoulders are still supported and the backrests are not too small. Extensive setting options in the car are particularly important if one deviates in his proportions from the fictitious average person on whom developers orientate themselves.

Not to be underestimated Steering wheel can be adjusted for length and height. This allows the distance to the driver's chest to be optimized. It also makes it easier to have an unrestricted view of the instruments. Also make sure that the headrests are sufficiently high that they can be adjusted.

These points distinguish a good car model:

  • height-adjustable seat (inconvenient if only the incline is adjustable)

  • wide length adjustment range of the seat

  • sufficiently high adjustable headrest - it should reach to the top of the head

  • finely adjustable backrest

  • easily accessible adjustment levers

  • Steering wheel with length and height adjustment

  • Memory function with electrical adjustment

  • Height adjustment of the belt point on the B-pillar

The ADAC Autotest provides information on this in the “Interior” section, “Front / rear space” and “Seats” in the comfort section.


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