Car insurance: Slouching drivers suffering in the pocket

Tuesday, 23 May 2006

Many office workers are familiar with the term repetitive strain injury (RSI), after continually typing or clicking a mouse button, or even sitting in the wrong position at their desk.

But now scientists are warning the same could be true of drivers, with almost half of all motorists in the UK suffering from repetitive driving injury (RDI), caused by poor driving posture.

A new study by eBaymotors has found that foot cramp, lumbar pain, stiff neck, headaches and side ache are all symptoms suffered by almost two million British drivers, just 15 minutes after starting to drive.

Ergonomics expert Professor Mark Porter of Loughborough University separated the nation's driving positions into four categories: the Rollercoaster, in which the driver is leant forward and sat upright, looking tense; the Multi-tasker, who has one hand on the gearstick; the Racer, who sits too low with arms and legs outstretched; and the Pimp, who drives with the seat inclined and one arm on the window ledge.

Each position is potentially harmful to the body, as well as the driver's abilities to manoeuvre and drive comfortably.

Charlie Coney of eBayMotors said: "It's incredible - people will spend thousands to ensure comfort and safety in their homes and offices, but when it comes to cars only 21 per cent of drivers consider it a priority."

And uncomfortable driving conditions can not only lead to increased medical bills but also a car insurance premium hike, if motorists crash due to their poor driving position.

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