How Far Should I Sit Away from the Steering Wheel?

Young Man in Proper Steering Wheel Positioning


You’re late for work and you jump in the car to get on the road. What are your first thoughts? Chances are, they aren’t, “Gee, I sure am sitting in the perfect position in relation to my steering wheel.” In fact, it is safe to say that the majority of drivers never or rarely consider the amount of distance between their driver’s seat and the steering wheel. But, did you know the answer to this question can actually help you determine whether or not you are seated in a safe place in your car? It’s true!

How Much Space Should Be Between Your Chest and the Steering Wheel?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that roughly 10 inches or further is an optimal distance between a driver and their steering wheel, due to the amount of power that an airbag can produce when it deploys, this will help keep you safe.

A further distance from the steering wheel will lessen the severity of impact that a driver faces in an accident. Research has proven that steering wheel airbags can produce up to 2,000 pounds of force at a rate of 200 miles per hour.

Driver’s Seat Positioning Tips:

Here are some tips to help you find a position for your driver’s seat that will keep you both comfortable and safe:

  • Make sure your steering wheel is faced downward to avoid serious impact to the face and chest
  • If you feel the need to sit closer to the steering wheel due to your height, consider the installation of pedal adjusters
  • Maintain the distance of the base of your seat while reclining the back of the seat
  • Move your driver’s seat back and slightly recline the top portion

Because many vehicle manufacturers are noticing the severity of injuries caused by driver’s seat airbags, many have begun manufacturing pedals that are adjustable, allowing drivers to take advantage of an additional 3 inches of clutch, gas, and brake pedal length without needing to move their seats closer.

Were You Injured in a Car Accident? Call Jordan Law Center

If you were involved in a car accident and think another driver should be held liable for your injuries, we urge you to contact our Greenville car accident attorney today. With decades of experience, we know how to stand by your side and examine the details of your case thoroughly in order to pursue maximum monetary compensation for you.

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