short people got no reason
March 29, 2008 5:34 PM   Subscribe

I got a new car! Unlike my old one, it doesn't have height adjustable seats. I am 5'0" and can barely see over the dashboard. Do they make booster seats for adults? How do other short people deal with this?
posted by streetdreams to Travel & Transportation (16 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
My six-foot-tall husband, on the other hand, says he loves it for the leg room.
posted by streetdreams at 5:37 PM on March 29, 2008

Could you put a pillow on the seat? That should give you at least another few comfortable inches.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:41 PM on March 29, 2008

I am 5'1", and I still fit into some of the children's booster seats. Yea, you might feel odd trying & buying one, but it'll shift less, and be more comfortable than most other options.
posted by kellyblah at 5:50 PM on March 29, 2008

You could get something like this, and add a layer of foam under it. It would move around less than just adding a pillow.
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 5:51 PM on March 29, 2008

I'm 5'2" and short-torsoed, so I sit on a cushion. I just went to the discount store and got a cheap one. It makes a world of difference, especially when I'm trying to park in a tight space and really need to see over the dashboard/car hood.

Having "child-bearing hips", I doubt I'd fit into a booster seat, but if you can it might be worth a try.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 6:07 PM on March 29, 2008

My mom is 5'1" and has this problem too. Most of the cushions she tried weren't firm enough, so she ended up using a phonebook with a cushion on top.
posted by extramundane at 6:47 PM on March 29, 2008

I sit on a cushion - I'm 5'0''. I don't know how much it will help you make up the difference, though.
posted by Amanda B at 7:39 PM on March 29, 2008

My mom, who is 4'11", had her brake pedals built up by a garage that specializes in adaptive modifications for people with more serious handicaps after reading those studies about decapitation by airbags; the extended pedals and a cushion on the seat allow her to sit a safe distance from the center of the wheel.
posted by nonane at 8:08 PM on March 29, 2008

They actually make cushions this for aircraft which you might be interested in. The one I linked to is a little bit of overkill, I think, but I have seen people use pads that just rest on the seat and don't cover the backrest. The reason these exist is that the instrument panels on some airplanes are so tall it's difficult to see over them unless you're over, say, 5'10". At any rate, these commercial products usually have straps designed to secure them to the seat so you won't go sliding around in the event of some bumps.
posted by backseatpilot at 10:04 PM on March 29, 2008 [1 favorite]

Do the seats tilt at all? You could cant the whole thing back with the backrest forward and a triangle-ish wedge cusion in the seat. That should give you a lot of extra height, while still supporting your back as well as underneath your knees.
posted by iamkimiam at 10:31 PM on March 29, 2008

Most seats are just held down by four bolts. Could you have a somebody (mechanic, husband, etc) see if there's a way to insert some sort of spacers and longer bolts. Should be inexpensive, and I'd imagine actually safer than shifting around on a cushion.
posted by hungrysquirrels at 4:46 AM on March 30, 2008

Just to append the spacer idea, I'm not thinking washers since the 'feet' can be large, more along the lines of some blocks of wood with a hole drilled through.
posted by hungrysquirrels at 4:53 AM on March 30, 2008

Just to append the spacer idea, I'm not thinking washers since the 'feet' can be large, more along the lines of some blocks of wood with a hole drilled through.

Wood might be a bit sketchy since it can break easily especially in an accident situation. I've done a similar modification (raising the drivers seat) by drilling a hole through the middle of a hockey puck, then using them at each mounting point with a longer bolt to attach the seat to the floor / frame. Hockey pucks are nice and strong (nearly unbreakable) and exactly 1 inch thick so it's easy to add another set and know exactly how high you're raising the seat. Only thing to consider is that when you raise the seat, your feet are now farther away from the pedals . . .
posted by lazywhinerkid at 6:57 AM on March 30, 2008 [1 favorite]

Sometimes just adjusting the steering wheel so that it's lower can make a world of difference. (I'm 5'1" and I have to drive a lot of rental cars, which all seem to be made for much larger people.)
posted by paleography at 9:57 AM on March 30, 2008

I'm 4'11" and I sit on a memory foam lumbar cushion (because it doesn't squish down) and a regular throw pillow on top of that (so I don't feel the curves of the lumbar cushion, and because it does squish down).
posted by desjardins at 1:55 PM on March 30, 2008

I'm 5'1" with the world's shortest torso, and I use a wedge-shaped foam pillow made for the purpose. I can't find a link to mine, but it looks a lot like this one. Mine also has a fleecy cover that probably adds another half-inch.

I love mine. Until recently, when I started using it, I had no idea that car seat backs didn't have to feel assaultive.
posted by tangerine at 3:49 PM on March 31, 2008

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