Think fast: What's the first thing you do when you hop inside a brand-new car? Chances are very few of you would answer setting yourself up for the proper driving position. It's just something that, based from observation, many drivers seem to take for granted.
Motorists who can barely see above the dashboard, driving with their chest nearly pressed against the steering wheel, or drivers with one arm hanging outside the window with the other fully extended gripping the tiller (aka the 'fuccboi' position)—they're everywhere. They shouldn't be, but they are.
"What's the big deal? To each his own," you might say. We all have our preferences, but there's a difference between being comfortable and obviously not knowing the basics of driving. Here are a few things to always keep in mind when positioning yourself behind the wheel:
1) It's all about keeping things leveled.
Level—remember that word. The steering wheel should be pointed at your chest and its top must be at level with your shoulders. Adjust your tiller's height accordingly.
2) Stay relaxed and comfortable.
With the above rule in mind and your back firmly against the seat, extend your arms and see if your wrists sit comfortably on top of the steering wheel.
Your legs and arms should be slightly bent to avoid tiring or straining them behind the wheel. Overextend your limbs or sit too close and you'll be limiting their range of motion, too—not a good look if you suddenly need to change direction or step on a different pedal. Achieving the perfect distance is also why having a ride with telescopic steering adjustment is a huge plus for many motorists.
3) Maintain 'natural' driving movements.
When shifting in a manual car, stepping on the brakes or accelerating, only your foot should move. Flex your heel not your knee, because doing the latter will only tire and strain it faster. Maintain a comfortable, natural grip on the steering wheel with your hands in the three and nine o'clock positions, and remember not to cross your arms when maneuvering.
Keep the following rules in mind to enjoy an ergonomically sound, relaxed and—most important—safe driving experience.