Suffering from knee pain while driving my first SUV: What should I do

My Tata Safari Storme has a chair-type seating as compared to hatchbacks and sedans which have more reclined and lounge-type seating.

BHPian puneetakhouri recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Driving seat adjustment help needed

So I have been driving for almost over 15 years now with vehicles that I drove being primarily sedans and hatchbacks. Recently got my first SUV which is the Storme and for the first time I am struggling with right knee joint pain since I started driving this. I have faced occasional left knee pain in severe bumper-to-bumper traffic in other cars, but highways with less clutch use have been very comfortable. I will just list down my current setting and observation and request the experts at the forum to guide me with this.

  • I am under 35 years of age with a height of 5'10" and a weight of 85kilos. Medium built with not too long legs.
  • Safari has a chair-type seating as compared to hatches and sedans which are more reclined and lounge-type seating.
  • Safari Storme has a long clutch travel whereas all the cars that I drove so far have been petrols with short clutch travel and here is where the problem begins.
  • To ensure that I can fully press the clutch pedal, I bring the seat forward so that I can press the clutch fully using my toes (your shoes will get stuck in the lower part of the dashboard above the clutch if you use the middle of your foot to press the clutch as we do in cars with smaller clutch). I ensure that the knees are not fully straight when pressing the clutch fully and there is a slight bend in the left knee to prevent any strain on the back.
  • When the seat is set to as it's mentioned in the previous point, the right knee has to bend a lot to press the accelerator. This is due to the long clutch. So technically where my left knee is almost 160 degrees straight. My right knee has to be at around 100 degrees.
  • The driver seat under-thigh support is also on the lower side as well hence the right knee has no under-thigh support and it's totally suspended and balanced on my muscles.
  • I feel the accelerator pedal and brake perhaps are slightly higher for chair-type seating. The truck would have benefitted a lot with an accordion-type press accelerator attached to the floor.
  • I anchor my right foot in front of the brake pedal and tilt the foot to press the accelerator. This I feel had made my muscle memory to always keep the right foot in front of the brake. So in case of an emergency, I would always stomp the brake instead of the accelerator.

So, now I have ended up with right knee pain. Any suggestions or any corrections that anybody can suggest, please? Also if fellow Storme owners can chip in that would be great.

Here's what BHPian Kosfactor had to say about the matter:

Increase the height of your seat, you could use a longer seat bolt and spacers to achieve this, the only downside is that in traffic you may need to tip-toe the clutch a bit. On longer highway drives simply shift your feet position to in front of the accelerator, since you are driving for so many years - trust your instincts to stomp the brake pedal regardless.

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