Bear’s thoughts and opinions have been heavily influenced by the knowledge and expertise of
Dr. Vinita Azarow, D.C. Mountain View Chiropractic Center Mountain View, CA

Adjust your Car Seat

Because we spend so much time in our cars, and since “fender benders” are not all that uncommon, it’s important that you be sitting correctly in your car seat. Not only for safety in a collision, but for generally good seated posture (Remember that sitting puts greater pressure on the low back disks). Therefore, it’s important that your car seat fit well.

Here are the how to’s for correctly adjusting your car seat:

  1. The head restraint: (Nope, it’s not a head rest). The top should be as high as the top of your ears, and it should be close to the back of your head – no farther away than two finger widths. If your head is farther away, even a moderately hard car crash can cause a concussion.
  2. The seat back should be tilted only slightly back from vertical. If it’s farther than that, there is greater stress on your neck and upper back because your head must now jut forward do you can see where you’re going. Plus, if your seat back is reclined during a front-end collision, your seat belt and shoulder harness may not hold you snugly in the seat. So, depending not only on how hard the collision, but on how much the seat is tilted back, you might slide up and out of both the belt and harness and strike your head on the roof of your car, causing a concussion.
  3. The steering wheel: The air bag needs 1- inches to fully inflate. Therefore do not sit closer than 10 inches from the steering wheel. Try this the next time you get behind the wheel, place your hands at 10 (left hand) and 2 (right hand). Then switch hands, exchanging the 10 and 2 positions. If doing that caused you to lean forward, you’re sitting too close.
  4. The lumbar support: Although in later model cars the lumbar support has been moved (i.e. shifted higher), in most cars it’s usually too low and presses against the sacrum instead of the lower back. If so, and if you can, adjust the seat back so it’s flat, and use a lumbar pillow to support your spine.

Generally speaking, sitting upright in the car seat, whether driver or passenger, will help protect your body in any kind of car crash, and (bonus) you’ll also have much better peripheral vision.

With today’s increased traffic, it’s become more important than ever to be a smart and alert driver. I’m going to refer you to

It’s a wonderful web site full of useful information with great driving tips. We can all use a review from time to time. Check it out!

Read more of Bear’s Thoughts on Travel & Health