Fortunately, your car has several safety features designed to protect you. Unfortunately, these features do not work if you are not properly situated within the vehicle. To get the most from your vehicle’s safety systems, you should be sitting up straight with your seatbelt on and your feet on the floor. Putting your feet up on the dash can have serious consequences in the event of an accident.
Why Is It Dangerous to Put Your Feet on the Dash?
If your feet are up when your car’s airbag deploys, your legs will be hit with an impact between 100 and 220 mph. Depending on how you’re sitting, your limbs could be hurled into your face. As a widely-shared Facebook post from the Chattanooga, Tenn. Fire Department explains:
“Airbags deploy between 100 & 220 MPH. If you ride with your feet on the dash and you’re involved in an accident, the airbags may send your knees through your eye sockets.”
Many people argue that they would simply move their feet if a crash were to take place, but airbags can inflate within 15 to 40 milliseconds.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NTHSA), over 290 passenger deaths were caused by airbag inflation from 1990 to 2008, and 80% of those passengers were not sitting correctly.
Even those who survive face lifelong consequences:
One woman had her nose, ankle, femur, and arm broken by a T-bone accident while everyone else walked away with minor scrapes and bruises. The airbag threw her foot into her face, breaking her nose and twisting the right side of her body. After the accident, the woman shared her story, acknowledging her accident with the following statement:
“Basically my whole right side was broken, and it's simply because of my ignorance. I'm not Superman. I couldn't put my foot down in time.”
In another story, a 22-year-old “broke nearly every bone in [her] face” when her knees were forced into her face. She suffered a cerebrospinal fluid brain leak (CSF) and lost two teeth. For two years, she lived without a forehead due to complications from the accident. She hopes people will learn from her mistake.
Yet another young woman lost her spleen to an accident where her feet were on the dash. She also broke both her feet, along with her nose, left eye socket, cheekbone and jaw. Her hearing, vision, and brain were permanently damaged by the collision. The woman can no longer live independently as a result, but her family has shared her story to prevent similar tragedies.
Terrifying X-Ray Goes Viral
This month (Jan. 2020), a horrifying X-ray hit the web, along with a Welsh woman’s story of “life-changing” injuries. The woman’s hips were crushed by an accident while she had her feet on the dashboard. One of her hips was broken and the other was completely dislocated.
The sergeant who shared the image included a bit of advice:
“Here is an X-Ray of horrific injuries sustained to the front seat passenger who had their feet on the dashboard at the time of a collision. If you see your passenger doing it stop driving and show them this.”
The disturbing image was originally shared by Daily Mail UK.
To get the full story, click here.
Who Is Responsible?
While the individuals above contributed to the severity of their injuries, they may not have caused the collisions they were involved in.
If other people’s negligence (or carelessness) led to the crashes in question, the victims could have received compensation for their injuries.
The same applies to you, and anyone else involved in a motor vehicle accident.
If you have been injured in a collision that was not your fault, please contact the Law Offices of Jennie Levin, P.C. to explore your options.