When driving is a pain in the neck...

Compliplus safe drivingYou know that sore feeling you get when you’ve been stuck in the car for too long on an extended journey, or even the daily commute, stopping and starting in traffic? A good driving position is imperative, and this guide will help you with the correct positioning when you get behind the wheel to help ease those aches and pains.

Professional and commercial drivers in particular can experience a range of musculoskeletal problems, including back, neck, shoulder and leg pain. A good driving position reduces unnecessary discomfort and back problems. The most important thing is to set up properly before you start your journey.

  1. Raise the seat as high as is comfortable, making sure your head has enough clearance from the roof. This is to ensure maximum visibility.
  2. Move the seat forwards until you can fully depress the clutch, brake and accelerator pedals.
  3. Adjust the seat height as necessary for good pedal control.
  4. If available, adjust the cushion tilt angle so that the thighs are supported along the length of the cushion

 

Key points for pain free driving:

  • Avoid pressure behind the knee.
  • Adjust the angle of the back rest so it provides continuous support along the length of the back to shoulder height.
  • Avoid reclining the seat too far as this will cause excessive forward bending of the head and neck, and you may feel yourself sliding forwards on the seat.
  • Adjust steering wheel rearwards and downwards for easy reach.
  • Check for clearance for thighs/knees when using pedals.
  • Ensure display panel is in full view and not obstructed.
  • Adjust lumbar support for even pressure along the length of the back rest. 
  • Make sure lumbar support ‘fits’ your back, is comfortable with no pressure points or gaps.
  • Adjust head restraint to reduce the risk of injury in the event of an accident.

It’s a good idea to take regular breaks on long journeys and get out of your car for about 15 minutes every two hours of driving time. If you are parked up with the engine off, some simple stretches can help. For shoulder pain shrug your shoulders up and down and roll them forwards and backwards to relieve tension. For your arms and chest, interlock your hands together with palms out, stretch arms forward and hold, then up to the roof and hold. When your feet are off the pedals, bend your knees so your feet are flat on the floor then push on the balls of the feet until the heels rise up. To release tension in your neck, slowly tilt your ear towards your right shoulder and hold, then repeat on the left side. Place your chin towards your chest and hold. Look straight ahead and turn your head from left to right, holding at each side.

Compliplus has an online Driver Awareness Course which can help those who drive for a living and it covers the key aspects of driver safety including:

  • Fitness to drive
  • Vehicle inspection and maintenance
  • Efficient driving
  • Accident and incident requirements
  • Personal safety

For more information please click on the link here.

Happy driving!