Cruising with J9: Too close for comfort

2011-03-09 07:29

I’ve been tempted to make a bumper sticker for some motorists – not to be funny, but in an attempt to save their lives.

I cringe whenever I see people sitting right on top of their steering wheels. What is the point of having an airbag if there is no room for it to deploy?

Manufacturers should implement some sort of programme where dealerships can educate their customers with extensive product information and safety tips, including what the correct seating position should be.

The problem seems to be a common one among those who are shorter than average – like me. Most times my seat is closer to the steering wheel, but there is more than enough space to be safe.

If you’re sitting too close, you can’t move your arms fast enough when you need to think on your feet. Your arms need room to make sharp turns or swerve out of the way. Having them squashed against the wheel is going to hinder movement and cause serious injury.

If your legs can’t reach the pedals, raise your seat and recline it a bit. Not so high that your head will hit the roof, as you could break your neck if the car should roll during an accident. Yes, you need to be able to see over your bonnet, but if raising your seat doesn’t work, then get a pillow to sit on.

You also need to make sure you’re not sitting eye-level with the rear-view mirror because then you’re way too high. And the seat should not be reclined so far back that you could be mistaken for a “wannabe-cool” youngster who looks as if he or she could be driving from the back seat.

Sometimes I’m tempted to put my window down at a traffic light and ask people to move their seats back because it’s so dangerous.

But you can’t tell someone how to sit correctly in a few seconds. Nor can you ask them to pull over so you can help them.

Maybe that bumper sticker is not such a bad idea after all.

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