How To Adjust a Driver's Seat

Many vehicles are equipped with power seat adjustment options.  These vehicles typically have two to three levers on the bottom left side of the driver's seat.  The position, type, and options controlled by these levers are dependent on the vehicle, and will require some testing by the driver.  Many other vehicles are equipped with manual controls, usually a lever below the front of the driver's seat, and another lever on the bottom left side of the seat between the seat and car door. These serve the same purpose, but allow for fewer positioning options than are possible with the power features.

Regardless of your vehicle's equipment, the best method to adjust a driver's seat is to start with the distance of the seat from the steering wheel.  Drivers should remember that their seat should be set far enough from the steering wheel that their elbows are slightly bent when they have both hands on the wheel.  Setting the seat too far from the steering wheel can hinder your ability to adequately control the vehicle.  Setting the seat too close can have the same effect, and may also produce a safety risk, as this can cause unnecessary injuries in the event of a collision in which the airbag inflates.  If the seat needs to be moved closer to the steering wheel to allow for foot contact with the pedals, it should be moved to the position that is as far as possible from the steering wheel while still allowing for this.

The adjustment of the seat back should be set to a comfortable position while still allowing for adequate hand contact with the wheel, and full visibility through the windshield.  Ideally, the seat back should be set to a position where the driver is sitting straight upright, or slightly reclined.  This is for the same safety reason that the seat should not be set too far forward.  Vehicles with power seat control options may also give the driver the ability to raise and lower the height of the seat.  The positioning of the height of the seat is a matter of personal preference, for which drivers should ensure that they are still able to safely operate the vehicle.

Some vehicles may also have a lumbar support option.  The lever for this feature is often on the right side of the driver's seat back.  This feature is typically purely a comfort feature, and a matter of personal preference.

Drivers should remember that their seat should be set to a position that does not need to be changed to enter or exit the vehicle.  If you are not able to get out of your vehicle with the seat in the position that you use for driving, it is likely set too far forward.


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