What you’re comfortable with when driving may be a far cry from how you should be positioned in your driver seat to avoid the utmost damage to your body.  Or, for some of us, just driving through those fast food joints is doing enough damage to that temple of ours.  We could be our own air bags.  Give the temple a little more respect, eh?

I see people driving low and cool who can’t even see over the steering wheel, nor the mirrors.  Bolts rattling loose from that heavy base.  You can’t even see the driver because his seat is so far back that he is now driving from the back seat of the car.  A feat I’ve only seen on Scooby Doo.  Rought-Ro!  At least he’s protected from that drive-by shooting.  Hidden behind that panel of metal between the front and back seat.  Smart call.  Now go get a job!  You know, that’s one unmotivated individual when you’re too lazy to even get out of the car to shoot someone.

I also see little people, like me.  Sitting so close to the steering wheel that they could easily be their own hood ornament.  And people so large that they feel uncomfortable in their seat belt and simply refuse to wear the thing.  We all want to be comfortable when we’re driving.  But when it comes to comfort v.s. possible injury, which do you choose?    Most people choose the comfort.  Why can’t you have both?

Ready to determine whether you are positioned correctly behind the wheel?  Try these tricks out.  With your back against the seat and head against the headrest, make sure your seat is positioned so you can see well over the dash, both side mirrors and rear view mirror. Move your seat forward close enough where your feet reach the pedals, but far enough where your legs are outstretched when your foot reaches the brake pedal.  And your knee slightly bent when reaching the gas pedal.

To position yourself far enough away from the steering wheel for the air bag to do its magic but not do its magic on your face, try this trick.  When sitting upright and comfortably, flop your wrists over the top of the steering wheel.  If they dangle there, with your back resting against the seat, great.  If not, adjust.  Your hands should also be at 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock.  This, also due not only to the way the airbag deploys, but also due to the ease of a sudden steering maneuver in a scary situation.  And, when the cop says “Put your hands where I can see ’em”…there you go.  They’re already there.

So, what’s your position?  Good or evil?

Until next week…drive safe.

Daun Thompson

(Daun Thompson is a comedienne, writer and artist residing in Dallas, Texas)