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AAA World | Auto
Can Pedal Extenders Perfect Your Fit Behind the Wheel?

Vehicle pedal extenders can provide added comfort and safety for that just-right positioning in the driver’s seat.

  

Q: I have short legs, making it difficult to get comfortable when driving. When I adjust the seat to reach the pedals, I’m too close to the steering wheel. Is there anything that I can do?

  

A: If the range of adjustment in your car’s seat and steering wheel is inadequate, it may be possible to have pedal extenders installed on your car. Shops that modify vans for wheelchair access can often do this work. Pedal extenders can make a significant difference by allowing a driver to stay at least 10 inches back from the steering wheel while still comfortably and safely controlling the car. The center of the steering wheel holds the air bag, so that 10-inch spacing provides a margin of safety if the air bag were to deploy.    

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When it is time to replace your car, shop around. You might find a vehicle with seat- and steering-wheel adjustments that can produce a proper fit with no vehicle modifications. Cars with a manual- or power-operated height-adjustable driver’s seat and a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel may be all you need. Some vehicles, mostly larger and costly SUVs and trucks, also offer power-adjustable foot pedals. A height-adjustable mount for the shoulder belt on many vehicles can enhance your safety and comfort, too.