• How close is too close to the Steering?

    Posted on: July 10th, 2013 by admin No Comments

    how close is too close to the steering

    Quite a number of arguments surround the actual safe distance from the steering wheel whilst driving, but at the same time factors like the driver’s height, level of driving experience and vehicle cock-pit orientation dictate the distance drivers keep from the steering. However, in the middle of all these considerations, is there any generally acceptable limit for the ideal distance drivers should keep from the steering? Yes there is, and that figure is 10 inches (25 cm) from your driver’s breast-bone to the steering wheel, so the question here is why is this safe-distance necessary?

    Resultant force of triggered airbags: It’s a generally accepted rule that children under 12years shouldn’t be allowed on either the front seats, and the reason behind this is the fact that triggered frontal airbags can suffocate and kill children in the process of doing its intended job of saving lives during accidents. This should give you an idea of the kind of force these bags come along with; hence the further you are from the steering wheel while on driver seat, the more the likelihood of the resultant cushioning effect of airbags as desired.

    Safe distance for braking: Pre-tensioned seat belts help keep passengers in place even during adverse braking, but even these fastened seat belts can’t help you if you are too close to the steering as you risk getting knocked out if you forcefully strike your head on the steering wheel.

    Ease of gear changing: Especially for manual transmission cars with gears sticks which have to be shifted every now and then. Seating too close to steering wheels gives your right arm (as it applies here in Nigeria and countries with left-hand drives) very little allowance which makes you stress your muscles and arms a little more to effect gear changes. This overtime can even induce avoidable fatigue which can dampen your mental alertness behind the wheel. Give or take drivers with liberty around the driver seat maintain a psychological edge and even feel more in control, besides staying too close to the steering wheel doesn’t guarantee optimum road clarity.

    However short drivers should consider reclining their seats accordingly which ensures adequate leg distance from foot pedals and a substantial margin of safety from the steering wheel.


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