How Far Away Should You Sit From the Steering Wheel?

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We get in and out of our vehicles all the time. It’s not often we consider the driver’s seat position.

Did you know that the position of your seat, in relation to the steering wheel, can determine the injuries you face in an accident?

What is the Ideal Position of the Driver’s Seat from the Steering Wheel?

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the driver’s seat should be at least 10 inches from the steering wheel. Airbag manufacturers design for this distance, and staying within it keeps you safer.

What Are the Risks of Sitting Too Close to the Steering Wheel?

Injuries due to forward momentum

In an accident, the forward momentum caused by an abrupt halt may thrust a driver forward at high speeds. If they are sitting too close to the steering wheel, they might hit their chest or their heads against it and the dashboard. In extreme cases, this may cause serious internal injuries that may result in concussions or death.

Airbag injuries

Airbags, 2,000 pounds of force in an instant, deploy at over 200 mph. You will absorb all of that force, and it may injure your chest or break your neck with catastrophic results in extreme cases.

Injuries from the windshield

If you are sitting too close to the steering wheel in an accident, you may get lacerations and cuts if the vehicle is involved in an accident. You could also be easily trapped if the front section of the automobile collapses, lowering your chances of surviving an accident.

Problems with the pedals

Sitting too close to the steering wheel could make it hard to move your feet to the right pedals while driving, especially if you are tall. You will have to bend your knee to almost 30 degrees or place it against the dashboard and reduce the leg’s motion. This may increase the reaction distance and cause an accident in an emergency situation.

Tips for Staying Seated Safely While Driving

Here are a few things you may do to prevent severe injuries based on your sitting position in relation to the steering wheel:

  • Tilt the steering wheel so that it does not face the chest and face
  • Slide your seat back at least 10 inches using the levers at its base
  • Recline the driver’s seat such that the top half of the body is away from the airbag and steering wheel.
  • If you are short, consider having pedal adjusters installed on your vehicle so that you can reach them without sitting too close to the steering wheel.

JustCallMoe Can Help in Case of an Accident

Have you or a loved one been involved in an accident? JustCallMoe has experienced Florida car accident lawyers who can help you get compensated and protect your rights in court. Contact us today for assistance.

Airbag FAQs

Should I turn off my airbags?

Consider keeping your airbags on as they greatly reduce the risk of death in head-on collisions.

Can an airbag deployment be fatal?

Even if an airbag deploys, other factors may result in catastrophic injury. These include use or neglect of a seatbelt, the driver’s age, and their proximity to the wheel.

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