Car Safety Tip: Keep Feet Off the Dashboard

Airbags have been used in cars to help counteract automobile injuries since the late 1980s. However, it is not widely known that airbags also can cause injuries–bad ones.

One thing that many people don’t know, and need to know, is not to put their feet on the dashboard and never allow passengers to put their feet or legs on the dashboard.

An airbag works by the ignition of a heating element, which causes the explosion of combustible gas inside a nylon bag. This explosion softens the effect of forward momentum of the passenger. The airbag is designed to prevent the head from hitting the dashboard since the seatbelt should restrain the body. So, if any body part is not in the correct alignment to receive such a forceful blow, it will end up in not only broken bones but a shattered life.

Recently, news reports have brought to light the dangers of passengers’ putting their feet on the dashboard. It may seem like a great idea to put your feet on the dashboard to stretch out, or text while riding as a passenger, but this bad decision has left many people with horrible, life-changing injuries.

One example is Audra Tatum, a mother from Georgia, who spoke out after being severely injured from having her feet on the dash when her vehicle was involved in a car crash.

An airbag exits the dashboard or steering wheel at 200 mph (300 km/h). If the airbag deploys while you have your feet on the dashboard, your knees will smash into your face at 200-300mph, possibly breaking your eye sockets, cheekbones, and nose, dislocating the jaw, and causing vision and brain damage, not to mention breaking the feet, ankles, and legs. This forceful impact causes severe, permanent damage, not to mention extreme pain and suffering.

The bottom line is – don’t put your feet on the dash while traveling in a vehicle with airbags, and don’t let your friends and family put their feet on the dashboard, either. This habit is dangerous, and could be deadly. Now you know, and you can inform your passengers about the danger–they might not know.