A bucket seat is a kind of seat found in motor vehicles that is intended for a single person and is usually defined in contrast to a bench seat, which is a seat that is intended for multiple people. A bucket seat can be thought of as an easy chair for cars in comparison to a bench seat, which can be thought of as a couch for cars. Most sports cars, compact cars, mid-sized cars, station wagons, minivans, and sports utility vehicles have two seats of this type in the front of the car: one for the driver and one for the passenger. The seats in the backs of most of these kinds of cars are usually bench seats with the exception of minivans. Minivans may have bucket seats, bench seats, or both in the back.
Another main difference between the bucket seat and the bench seat has to do with head and neck support. A bench seat usually only reaches up to about the shoulder level of an adult sitting on it. The bucket version, on the other hand, is often outfitted with a head rest. In some cars that are outfitted with all of the bells and whistles, the back of this kind of head rest has a built-in screen that can be used to play movies and video games.
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While the bucket seat is the most common kind of driver's seat for the types of vehicles described above, they are not always used for driver's seats in trucks. Many trucks are designed with a bench seat in the front. One reason for this is that a truck only has passenger seating in the front and a bench seat allows, in many cases, for three people to sit abreast. This maximizes the space as two bucket seats only allow for two people to sit within the passenger area.
In addition to appearing in various types of motor vehicles, the bucket seat is also used for passenger seating in modern aircraft. The main difference between a seat for a car and one for an airplane that is built for an airplane is that an airplane seat is usually higher off of the floor than a car seat. Just as with cars, a bucket seat for a nicely-outfitted airplane may have a screen built into the back of the head rest.