I ran across this Car Talk advice column today, and it spoke to me:
Sigh. It’s true–my next vehicle needs to be an automatic with a power-adjustable driver’s seat. Right now I’m driving a 15-year-old manual transmission pickup truck. And it hurts.
If you’re going on a road trip and you’ll be driving (or even passengering), think about the car you’re taking.
- Is it comfortable for you?
- Can you adjust your seat to make yourself more comfortable?
- Does the passenger seat lie flat back?
- What about when you’ve got your luggage in the car?
- Is there room to add pillows that will support your back, neck, legs…whatever’s hurting you?
- Does the seat belt lie where it should on your body, without adding pain?
- When/if you’re driving, can you adjust your seat for maximum comfort and minimum impact?
- Does it hurt to operate the vehicle?
- Do the temperature controls (including heated/cooled seats) work well enough to keep you comfortable?
One option I’ve used: if my vehicle isn’t comfortable enough for a long trip, I rent something. Larger sedans tend to be the best for me for long road trips. Luxury sedans are lovely if I can afford them. I neither need nor want a convertible–too much money for a feature that can add to my pain. On the other hand, heated seats diminish my pain noticeably if I’m traveling in a cold climate.
It’s okay to choose a different car than your daily driver for a long road trip. It won’t get its feelings hurt.