Driver: The correct position at the wheel

The driver sitting in the correct position behind the wheel is essential to maintain our safety in a vehicle and, also, to reach all the controls.

With the aim of reducing injuries in an accident, from the Chris Shilling Transport Training, we detail how the correct position of the driver at the wheel should be and, also, how the correct position of the hands should be at the wheel.

Correct position behind the wheel of a truck

If you are a truck driver, this section interests you. In it, we detail the steps that must be followed to obtain a correct posture in a truck, in order to avoid pain, accidents, etc. Here we go!

  • Getting into the truck: although getting into the truck does not refer to a driving position, it is important to avoid injuries and accidents, as we have mentioned before. We recommend that you do it using the bars and stairs available to get to your seat and, above all, that you do not make too sudden movements that could injure you. And be careful when going down, the ankle injury is very typical.
  • Adjusting the seat: to drive safely it is necessary that the seat is adjusted correctly. With some trucks, you can do it manually and with others, it will be automatic. Be that as it may … you should always do it! Adjust it so that you can step on the gear change, acceleration, and brake pedals to the end, without the need for your legs to be fully stretched out. Regarding the height of the seat, the idea is to position yourself to see the more road the better.
  • Backrest inclination: it is recommended that the back is completely straight and that all of it touches the back of the seat. It is not good to lie on the seat for the driver’s back since it will not rest enough.
  • Seat belt: as with other vehicles, for safe driving, it is necessary to wear a seat belt. This should always pass through the clavicle and not through the neck. To adjust it correctly follow the instructions that we have mentioned before; pull the belt up until the waistband is snug.
  • Headrests: the driver’s head should not be supported, but leaving about 2-3 cm with the headrest, in addition, if we lean the head too much on the headrest it is a symptom of fatigue and we must stop stretching the body. These indications are beneficial to reduce the chances of an accident since discomfort in these parts of the body could be dangerous on the road.
  • Placement of the hands-on steering wheel: as with a car, one of the most recommended positions is the following: the position at 9:15 or 10:10.

Correct hand position

There are many ways to get your hands on the wheel to drive safely. One of the most recommended positions is the following: the position of the hours ‘at 9:15 or 10:10’.

Why is the correct hand position behind the wheel? This is because this position allows us to make curves, that is, it allows us to cross our hands much more easily and, above all, without the need to release the steering wheel. It is a recommended position for both road and city due to the mobility it allows.

Correct driver position in utility vehicles

To get the correct driving position, as a driver, you should check the seat height, the backrest tilt, the height of the steering wheel, the headrest and the seat belt.

Here are the steps necessary to achieve the correct position at the wheel :

  • The height of the seat: to avoid that your thighs are too close to the steering wheel, it is recommended that the seat be a s low as possible because it increases stability, and, above all, because it increases visibility. Also, it is important to leave a margin between the roof of the car and the head.
  • The inclination of the backrest: it is advisable not to lie down too much. The proper incline is one where when you stretch your arms, your wrists touch the top of the steering wheel.
  • The height of the steering wheel: you must position the steering wheel so that it does not touch your knees and, also, taking into account that the wrists must touch the upper part of the steering wheel, as we have mentioned previously.
  • The headrests: must be positioned correctly in order to reduce neck injuries. For the headrest to be correctly positioned, the top of the headrest must be at eye level. In addition, it is very important that you remember that the head should not be supported, you must separate it about 2 or 3 cm.
  • Seat belt: every day when getting into the vehicle you must adjust the seat belt. To do this you just have to pull the belt up until the waistband is tight.

We know that when a person driver gains experience at the wheel, they trust themselves, and that means that the position of their body, their hands, their back, can be incorrect, leading to unsafe situations, not only for the driver but also for others users of the road. For this reason, and despite the years of experience that a driver has, we always recommend following all these steps when driving any vehicle and performing efficient driving techniques that, in addition to saving on fuel, will extend the life of your vehicle.

In addition, we want to highlight that one of the least recommended positions is one in which only one hand is used to drive. This is because in an emergency and incident, controlling the vehicle with one hand would be much more difficult.

At very high speeds this way of driving is dangerous and unsafe for you and for other passengers in the vehicle!

If you are interested in taking any of our road safety courses or want information … get in touch with Chris Shilling Transport Training!

Rob Prosser