CAR ADJUSTMENTS FOR DRIVER SAFETY

By Justin Stoltzfus
Driver Safety Tips
Today's vehicles have advanced features and built-in technologies that improve both driver safety and convenience, but part of making your drive safe and comfortable involves knowing how to properly calibrate these car safety features. Even the most basic elements of the car need adjustments, so make sure to adjust each of these parts for a safer drive:

  • Mirrors. Adjusting your mirrors is a crucial safety step every time you start your car. In between uses mirrors can get knocked askew, so be sure to make adjustments each time you get in the car and look to see that you have clear visibility on both sides. For detailed step by step instructions, see Liberty Mutual's guide to adjusting your car mirrors.
  • Steering Wheel. Adjusting the position of the steering wheel is something a lot of drivers forget to do, but entering traffic with your arms overextended or uncomfortably bent can be dangerous. Many vehicles now feature telescoping steering columns and positioning adjustments to best fit the wheel to your body's proportions. AAA recommends adjusting the steering wheel so that the top of the wheel is no higher than the top of your shoulders.
  • Seats. Take a second to move your seat to the optimal position—particularly if you're sharing the car with other drivers. Each driver has his or her own unique needs for seat positioning. You want to have enough room for your legs to make the necessary movements, but be close enough to the pedals that you're not overextending to reach the gas or the brake. It's also important to keep the floor clear of any objects that could roll under the driver's seat and stick under the pedals.
  • Dashboard. While many people think immediately of using your cell phone while driving as distracted driving, distractions can also be found right on your car's dashboard. Looking around to find the headlights, adjust the wipers, or fiddle with the stereo can all be distracting if you're not familiar with the car's layout. Don't wait to figure out your car's features while in traffic—read the manual and familiarize yourself with all of the functionality before you turn the car on to ensure you're focused on the road ahead while driving.
Whether it's figuring out how to position your mirrors, adjusting the steering wheel, or making other small changes, having better control makes driving more comfortable—and protects you if the unexpected should happen.


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