The front seats in the 2010 Taurus SHO have a slow massage feature to help you avoid fatigue on long trips. (Ford)
Gas prices are lower and people are driving long distances. That brings us to seat comfort and the "Dr. of Derrieres," Ford seating comfort engineer Mike Kolich.
The good doctor, the man behind Fordís multi-contour seat with Active Motion massage features (which will debut on the 2010 Taurus SHO), offers seven tips for your seating comfort, the most important of which are in making adjustments before starting out.
1. Press your foot firmly against the floorboard behind the brake pedal. Adjust the seat so your knee is slightly bent.
2. If you have an automatic transmission, your left foot should rest comfortably on the "dead pedal."
3. If you have a manual transmission, you should be able to fully depress the clutch without pointing your toes and minimal (if any) hip rotation. Your left leg should have a slight bend when the clutch is fully depressed.
4. The small of your back should be pressed firmly to the seatback.
5. If there is a height adjustment, place the seat at a comfortable height for vision and reach.
6. For most people, itís best to recline the seatback a bit. This reduces fatigue. But how far back? If you extend your arms over the steering wheel, your wrists should rest atop the wheel with your elbows slightly bent. (Note: This isnít a recommended driving position. Most safety experts recommend hands at 9 and 3 p.m., or 9:30 and 2:30 p.m.). You should be able to turn the wheel 180 degrees (half a turn) without having a hand fall off the wheel.
7. Finally. Click that seatbelt, making sure it crosses your hips.
8. Oh yes, that contour seat? We can attest: it IS comfortable.
About Boston Overdrive
|Clifford Atiyeh is an automotive writer and car enthusiast . He has spent his entire life driving cars he doesn't own.
In the garage: 1995 21-speed Iron Horse, 2002 Jeep Wrangler X (by association)
|Bill Griffith is a veteran Boston Globe reporter, having reviewed cars for more than 10 years and serving as assistant sports editor for 25 years. He was also the paper's sports media columnist.
In the garage: 2006 Subaru Baja
|John Paul is public affairs manager for AAA Southern New England, a certified mechanic, and a Globe columnist. He hosts a weekly radio show on WROL.
In the garage: Hyundai Sante Fe, Chrysler PT Cruiser convertible
|Craig Fitzgerald has been writing about cars, motorcycles, and the automotive industry since 1999. He is the former editor of Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car.
In the garage: 1968 Buick Riviera, 1996 Buick Roadmaster, 1974 Honda CB450
|Keith Griffin is president of the New England Motor Press Association and edits the used car section on About.com. He also writes for the Hartford Business Journal and various weekly newspapers in Connecticut.
In the garage: Mazda 5, Dodge Neon
|George Kennedy is a senior writer for WheelsTV in Acton, which produces video reviews for Yahoo, MSN, and other auto websites.
In the garage: Lifted 1999 Jeep Cherokee