An uplifting experience
I recently saw a vehicle pass me when I was driving through the city. I know that doesn’t seem unusual, but I actually never saw the driver. When I glanced to their vehicle, it appeared that no one was in the driver’s seat. The head restraint was the only thing I saw as they went by. This caught my attention and when we stopped beside one another at a red light, I noticed the driver was very short – vertically challenged so to speak. Isn’t there anything we can do to correct this problem while we drive? Is it really a problem while we drive?
When you sit too low in the vehicle it can hide information around your vehicle. It creates a larger blind area for you. A blind area is not a blind spot. It’s the area immediately on the ground around your vehicle. It can affect your stopping positions and when you make turns. It also makes the space behind the vehicle much larger than it needs to be. That makes it riskier for the driver each time they have to back up. What can you do to improve your visibility if you’re a shorter driver?
Most vehicles come with a height adjustment tool for the driver’s seat. It may be power assisted or human assisted. Raise your seat so your eyes are at least three fingers above the steering wheel. That would be roughly 2 inches or 5 centimetres. If you don’t have a vehicle that has those adjustment tools, you can always use a cushion or a folded up blanket to allow yourself improved visibility. No need to sit on a phone book though.
The driver of the vehicle in this photo is sitting a bit too low in his seat. As I watched him drive, he ended up leaning up and stretching to stop and make turns. He did it so often I knew it was an issue for him and his visibility, so I suggested he raise his seat up. He told me there wasn’t anything mechanical to raise it. I offered the solution of a small cushion to help him improve his visibility. He admitted to me that he never thought of that as a solution.
One of the participants during season 3 of Canada’s Worst Driver always carried a cushion with him so he could see over the dash. He was – and still is – short, so this helped him in some vehicles. When he got into my car with the adjustable driver’s seat, he was at a loss about his cushion. He didn’t need it but still wanted it. I think it may have turned into a security blanket for him as well. Regardless, he learned that it wasn’t always needed to help his vision, as long as the vehicle he’s driving has a height adjustment device.
Making sure you’re always in the correct seating position takes only a few seconds of thought. However, the advantages far out weight those few seconds. It can actually be quite uplifting.