It's so freeing to be the passenger on a road trip. You're in charge of navigation, music selection, and pointing out interesting things passing by—so why not kick back, put your feet up, and enjoy the ride? Unfortunately, placing your feet on the dashboard is the most dangerous position to be in if your driver needs to stop suddenly or the vehicle is involved in a crash. As a passenger, you're more likely to suffer more catastrophic injuries such as multiple broken bones and possibly even severed limbs.
Why Is it Dangerous to Ride with Your Feet on the Dashboard?
There are a number of reasons why this behavior is hazardous:
- Airbag force. Airbags deploy with a great amount of pressure, and usually help save lives with minimal injury. But if a passenger isn't sitting properly, the sudden release may push a passenger’s feet up through the roof or through a broken windshield. Airbag deployment can also force a person’s legs backward toward their faces at a speed of over 100 mph, breaking legs, pelvises, noses, foreheads, and jawbones.
- Seatbelt positioning. Seatbelts are designed to secure occupants while they're sitting upright. If a passenger is angled differently, the constriction of the belt may harm vital organs or sever limbs.
- Rollover accidents. If a vehicle rolls over in an accident and slides across the pavement, a passenger's lower body may be irrevocably damaged because of lack of protection from knee and chest airbags.
- Auto defects and poor design. All vehicles must be at least reasonably free of design defects to be considered crashworthy. Airbags may deploy for no reason or shoot fragments of steel, while improperly-constructed dashboards can slice feet open or shove knees onto the passenger’s shoulders in a crash.
Do you know someone who regularly rides with her feet on the dashboard? Please share this article on Facebook to keep your friends and family safe.