The good news is that modern vehicles are jam-packed with excellent safety features created to protect you while on the road. The bad news? No matter how advanced safety systems are in your car, they won’t make a difference if you’re positioned incorrectly in your car. To truly reap the benefits of your vehicle’s advanced safety options, you should sit with your back straight and properly belted with your feet on the floor.
Some people might find it relaxing to lean back or sit back to rest their feet on the dashboard. And while this is a great position to sit in if you’re parked at a drive-in movie or sporting event, it’s a dangerous and potentially fatal position to be in the event of an accident. Therefore, you should never put your feet on the dashboard of any vehicle.
Your car has mounted airbags on the dashboard and steering wheel, and these airbags are incorporated for protection purposes. These airbags are meant to distribute impact forces to minimize injuries if you are involved in an accident.
These airbags deploy in an accident while your feet are up; they can cause fatal injuries. The force of their inflation can force your feet towards the windscreen or push them backward, resulting in a broken nose, leg, or pelvis.
“Airbags deploy with the highest pressure, between 100 and 220 MPH. If your feet are resting at the dashboard, and you are involved in a wreck, your knees could thrash through the eye sockets following the airbag’s deployment,” the Chattanooga Fire Department cautioned in a Facebook post which has since gone viral. The police department is exposing this photo to help spread awareness of safe driving.
While we’ve all been cautioned about putting our feet on the dashboard at least once in our lives, we’re inclined to think that you would quickly be able to move your feet if an accident were to occur, but airbags deploy within milliseconds.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NTHSA) statistics revealed that more than 290 passengers were killed due to airbag inflation between 1990 and 2008. The leading cause? Almost 80 percent of the passengers were not sitting up straight.
In 2016, over 400 passengers were hospitalized with injuries linked to resting their feet on the dash of their vehicles, and the sad part is that even the survivors face permanent or long-term consequences.
Audra Tatum, a mother of three from Georgia, was severely injured when the airbags went off during a T-bone car accident. While everyone else in the car walked away with minor bruises and scrapes, Tatum broke her ankle, arm, nose, and femur.
Tatum shared the details of the accident, saying that the whole right side of her body was broken simply because of her ignorance. In a statement, she said, “I’m not Superman. I couldn’t put my foot down in time.” Audra underwent multiple surgeries and physical therapy sessions, and it took her several weeks to begin walking again.
An article published in the LAD bible shares a similar story of a 22-year-old woman who broke almost every bone in her face when her knees collided with her face during an accident. In a statement, she said, “My feet were on top of the airbag and, I know now, they inflate at 200mph.” She broke two teeth and suffered a brain leak, referred to as a Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF).
After the accident, she underwent surgery to address the fractures and fix the fluid leak in her brain. Unfortunately, some months later, doctors discovered that she had developed an infection and was forced to live without a forehead for two years. The woman warns others not to place feet on the dashboard and hopes people will learn from her case.
A terrifying X-Ray was recently shared on the internet, along with a woman’s story of what the police described as “life-changing” injuries. The X-Ray shows the aftermath of a car accident in which the woman riding with her feet on the dashboard broke her hips and was permanently disabled.
The officer who shared this disturbing X-ray advised people not to let their passengers rest their feet on the dashboard. “If you discover your passenger has their feet on the dash, stop the vehicle and show them the X-Ray,” stated the officer.
Undoubtedly, the people mentioned in these case studies have, in some way, contributed to their injuries by sitting unsafely in the car. However, while it might be easy to blame the victims for their negligence, the bottom line is: that they did not cause the accident.
If you are injured in a motor vehicle accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you may have a right to seek compensation for your injuries and damages. A great way to start is to hire a skilled car accident attorney to help investigate your accident and pursue the compensation you deserve for your loss.
If you or a family member has been involved in a car accident in Knoxville and need help, the Knoxville car accident attorneys at The Law Offices of G. Turner Howard III are equipped and prepared to fight for your rights to ensure you obtain the compensation you deserve. Our founding attorney, G. Turner Howard III, has many years of experience and can handle even the most challenging car accident cases. We serve clients living in Knoxville, TN, and the nearby areas. Contact us today for your free, confidential consultation with one of our attorneys. Remember, you don’t pay unless we win!