Many people spend a majority of their time in their car whether it is during the long commute to work and back or trips with their family. This much time sitting in one position for any amount of time can result in discomfort. This is because car seats are equipped with all the things to provide you with safety, not comfort.
The unpleasantness of the car seats leaves many people wondering if there is a solution to this problem. Keep reading to learn more about what you can do to make your seats more comfortable.
1. Adjust the Seat Height
Whether you are short or tall, having the right seat position is vital in preventing the uncomfortable feeling of back pain. This is something that most people do not think about when they get behind the wheel of their car.
Adjusting the height of the seat is the first thing you should do when trying to find the most comfortable position. This is because being at the perfect level can keep your posture in the right position, therefore easing any discomfort.
Many people never think about the height of the car seat being important for preventing the aches and pains they feel when driving. They typically accept it the way it is and then cope with the soreness.
Finding the perfect height for you is as simple as following a few guidelines. Start by lowering the seat completely. Next, raise the seat slowly until you can clearly see out of the windshield, while also having a clear view of the car panels.
It is important to note that when you are in the right position, your knees will be level with your hips and there will be a small space between the car seat and your knees. Additionally, if you are on the short side, to achieve this, you may need to add a seat cushion.
2. Change the Car Seat Position
Bodies are not created equally which makes finding the perfect seat position difficult for most people. This is especially true if you happen to share your car with another person. If this is the case, you may need to change the seat position each time you get into your car.
Changing the car seat position is another important factor in finding comfortability when driving. Since body dimensions vary, adjusting the seat position and tilt can provide the stability you need.
There are several ways you can change the seat position to be more comfortable in your car. Some examples are as follows:
- Move your seat forward
- Move your seat backwards
- Move the seat up
- Move the seat down
- Change the position of the head rest
- Lean the seat back
- make the seat more upright
Moving your seat forward or backward can provide you with a great amount of comfort as you drive. Since most vehicles are equipped with a lever that does this, the process can be as easy as sitting in the seat and moving it until you find the right position.
Keep in mind that when you are looking for the most comfortable seat position, you want to ensure that you have enough legroom, but can reach the pedals with ease. There should be a little bend in your knees and your heels should touch the ground in front of the pedals as appropriate.
Additionally, when you are making adjustments to your seat position, you should also consider the seatback. Bending too far back or forward can cause unpleasantness as you drive. Start with tilting your seat all the way back and then bringing it up slowly until you are in a position where you can be parallel to the steering wheel.
3. Position the Steering Wheel
Although the steering wheel is not directly related to the car seat, it can still add some benefit to your driving experience. Being in the right position can make all the difference, and aligning the steering wheel may be just as important.
The position of the steering wheel is just as vital to making your driving adventures as comfortable as possible. Having the correct alignment means that your hands are able to hang over the steering wheel at the wrists comfortably while your upper back is resting on the car seat.
Most vehicles come equipped with a lever that will allow you to adjust the steering wheel as you see fit. This means that you have the ability to test it out by moving it up and down until you find the desired position.
It is important to keep in mind that while you are adjusting the wheel, you should feel comfortable changing hand positions to the correct driving angle. This should not feel forced, otherwise, this can result in discomfort.
Additionally, any adjustments you make to your steering wheel should result in you being able to see everything on your dashboard without having to strain or bend over. Remembering that finding the most comfortable position is the goal will help you to make any changes you need correctly.
4. Adjust the Headrest
When it comes to the head as you are driving, many people tend to forget that the headrest is actually designed to rest your head. This results in you having to exert your energy to hold your head up, which can cause undue stress on your neck muscles.
Adjusting the headrest on your car seat can provide a level of comfort that you need for a long or even short journey. This is because when we allow the headrest to do its job, we can take the pressure off our neck muscles and shoulders.
Most headrests are designed to move not only up and down, but also forward and backward to provide the most comfort. This supplies an advantage when trying to find the best position for driving.
The button that sits at the base of the headrest, in most vehicles, allows the driver to move the position up and down. You will need to experiment with this to find the right position, which means that your head should hit in the center of the cushion.
Lastly, by adjusting your head position to make your earlobe parallel to the collarbone, you can then move the headrest either forward or backward so that the headrests comfortably on the cushion. This will provide the most support and keep your head and neck from undue strain.
5. Use Lumbar & Neck Support Cushions
For many people, making the needed adjustments may provide some comfort, but for others, they may need a bit more support. This is especially true if you are having trouble with your neck or lumbar spine areas.
Oftentimes when driving either on trips or just on your daily commute, neck and back pain get to be too much. Adding lumbar and neck support can provide you with the added support needed to prevent those aches and pains.
Using proper support cushions can prevent injuries in several areas of your body. Such as:
- Your Hips
For lumbar support specifically, many newer vehicles come equipped with this added benefit. Using the lever to add the lumbar support and decrease it can help you find the best position for your back. Keep in mind that the correct angle should be the natural curvature of your back.
If your car does not have the lumbar support feature, you may have to purchase a cushion that will provide the same level of support. You will want to choose this cushion carefully since all bodies are not the same. Check out this Dreamer Car Lumbar Support Pillow which is a great option for many people.
When considering neck support, unfortunately, vehicles do not usually have this feature built-in other than the ability to adjust the headrest. Because of this, many people purchase a cushion or pillow that can support their neck – like this ICOMFYWAY Car Neck Support Pillow.
When purchasing a lumbar or neck support cushion, you will need to ensure that they are safe for use in a vehicle and that they will give you the support you need.
6. Add a Car Seat Cushion
Now, maybe you have an older vehicle that does not come with all of these bells and whistles that can provide you with the comfort you need. It may leave you thinking whether there is an alternative for those with worn-out seats in an older vehicle.
Car seat cushions added to your vehicle are typically the most cost-effective and easiest adjustments you can make for your comfort. This is because most car seat cushions are affordable and they are purchased already suitable to your support needs.
Making your car’s seat more comfortable can be challenging, especially if you don’t have a vehicle that has the features built-in. In this case, you will need to go out and find the cushion that not only will fit in your car, but that fits the level of comfort you need.
Many of these seat cushions come in different sizes and types to fit a variety of people and support. Whether you are looking for something with memory foam or a wedge design, you should be able to find the one you want.
Some car seat cushions even come with heating capabilities. This can be an added bonus that will come in handy when it is cold outside. Keep in mind that temperature can also help you to be comfortable when you are behind the wheel.
7. Install a Seat Belt Cover
Although a seat belt is designed to save lives when driving, many people find the strap to be uncomfortable at times. This is especially true when you are on a road trip that requires you to sit in the same position for long periods of time.
Installing a seat belt cover can be the answer to many peoples’ challenges when taking long trips. The cover can prevent the unpleasant rubbing of the chest and collarbone that oftentimes causes chafing.
Even though adding a seat belt cover does not get rid of the problem entirely, since the strap will still be there, it can go a long way to making it more comfortable. This is because the seat belt itself is thin and usually stiff, which when driving for a while can end up feeling like you are trapped.
Seat belt covers add a cushion around the seat belt that can reduce the amount of discomfort you may experience. In most cases, you can find them in different lengths and cushion sizes to fit your desired comfort level.
You may be surprised to learn that adding this feature to your seat belt will not affect the safety or performance of your driving experience. This is because you are just adding a cushion around it, not changing the way it protects you from harm.
8. Dress Appropriately
When it comes to finding ways to be more comfortable while driving, many people think of the most common features, as stated in the above section. What you may not realize is that what you wear can also affect your comfort level while driving.
Whether you are commuting to work or driving for pleasure, you will need to ensure you have dressed appropriately, if you want to also be comfortable. The reason for this is that wearing tight-fitting clothing or unsuitable footwear can cause undue discomfort.
Wearing tight-fitting clothing, especially if you are driving on a long trip or commute, can cause your body to feel not only constricted, but it can also affect your body temperature. Wearing loose-fitting clothing allows more air circulation which is better for you overall.
Additionally, being mindful of what shoes you are wearing can ensure you are more at ease during your drive. Wearing high-heeled shoes or other footwear that may be bulky, can cause your feet to sit in awkward positions. This, in turn, can cause not only your feet to hurt but also your legs.
Keep in mind that even if you are driving to work, you can wear different shoes for the drive and then change into your favorite footwear once you arrive. In addition, the same can be true if you have to wear a suit jacket or other piece of clothing that may restrict your movement.
Overall, making your experience behind the wheel more comfortable is crucial to arriving safely to where you are headed. This begins with ensuring that your car seat is in the best position to provide not only the safety you need but also the comfort needed to reduce the number of aches and pains you arrive with.
See also: How to Comfortably Sleep in the Backseat