- Mar 12, 2006
- Reaction score
i told him to move his seat up so that his wrists can rest comfortably on the top of the steering wheel with a little bend at the elbow...Originally Posted by briancl
To expand on Brian's good advice, this is done with your back fully against your seat. The original idea is that you can do a full 180-degree steering wheel turn without moving your hands from the 3- and 9-o'clock positions on the wheel. However, in modern cars with steering wheel airbags that deploy at over 200 MPH, the criss-crossing of your arms this can cause may not be the best position to be in for a crash, and you may want to shuffle steer instead. But it has lots of other benefits in addition to being able to press the clutch without tiring out your leg: you have finer motor control of the steering wheel and better feel of the car through the wheel if you aren't hanging onto it because you're leaned so far back, along with some amount of shock absorbtion through bent elbows should you hit something. If you look at in-car footage of race car drivers, note how closely they sit to the wheel, and how bent their elbows are.
Also, 200 MPH airbags are another reason not to undergrip the steering wheel where you put your arm into the steering wheel and grip the top of the wheel from underneath. A deploying airbag will do wonders for hyperextending your elbow. Same thing for people who drive with one hand at 12 o'clock: an airbag will make you punch yourself. These are apparently not uncommon injuries seen in the ER.
While you're at it, you can set your side mirrors for best visibility too. For the left mirror, lean to your left until your head is against the window, and adjust the mirror out until you can just barely see the side of your car. For the right mirror, lean to the right so your head is in the middle of the car, and do the same adjustment. A consequence of this is that in your normal driving position, you won't be able to see your car in your side mirrors, which some people find comforting for some reason, but is not important. However, you now have much greater visibility. Ideally, just as a vehicle is leaving your side mirrors, it should be entering your central rear view mirror --- your blind spots are greatly reduced. However, you still have to look over your shoulders before turning.