Be a Smart Passenger

With the summer season on the horizon, more and more people are taking vacations and going on road trips. Passengers kick back, get comfortable, and begin their journey to their destination. This often includes people foolishly resting their feet up on the dashboard of the vehicle. Maybe it’s a habit, maybe it’s more comfortable, or maybe you even want a better look at that fresh pedicure. Whatever the case may be, it is never a smart idea.

I cannot tell you how bewildered I am when I am driving on the highway and see a passenger in the next vehicle with their feet carelessly propped on the dash. This is the easiest way to get seriously injured in an auto accident.

The impact of a collision when your feet are kicked up can definitely injure you from your toes up to your hip and may even affect the rest of your body. While the other passengers in the vehicle may only suffer minor cuts and bruises, you could suffer debilitating injuries merely because you had your feet on the dash.

The most likely injuries to occur from a car accident where the passenger was riding with their feet on the dashboard include:

Airbag Injuries– Airbags are designed to deploy at speeds between 10 & 20 MPH, depending on the vehicle manufacturer. While they are designed to save your life, you must be seated correctly for it to work properly. When your feet are kicked up, deployment of the airbag may send your leg upwards into your face and chest area. This may cause eye injuries, fractured nose, concussions, or abrasions and bruising to the arms, chest, face, and knees.

Windshield Injuries– The risk of going through the windshield is the biggest threat to a passenger with their feet on the dash. Getting in an accident while not sitting upright can cause a passenger to break their legs or even worse, cause them to be amputated after being embedded in the glass. These injuries can even occur at vehicles traveling at low speeds.

Seatbelt Injuries– Seatbelts are designed to secure passengers sitting upright. When sitting with your feet on the dash, your body is no longer in the right position. This may cause you to slide downward out of the seatbelt upon impact or ejected into the windshield.

front airbags deployed

Seeing folks casually riding with their feet on the dashboard is extremely frustrating. Keeping your feet on the floor could save your life.

The story of Audra Tatum, a Georgia mother of three, may help change your perspective. Audra insisted on placing her feet on the dashboard each time she was a passenger in a vehicle because “it was comfortable.” Her husband always warned her that this dangerous habit would cause her serious injuries one day, but she never stopped…. until one day her life was changed forever.

feet on dash broken bone accidentIn 2015, Tatum and her husband were traveling just a few miles down the road when another vehicle T-boned them. Her husband walked away from the accident with minor scrapes and bruises, but Tatum was not so lucky. The airbag deployed which threw her foot up and broke her nose. The impact also broke her ankle, femur, and arm. The woman explained, “basically my whole right side was broken, and it’s simply because of my ignorance…. I am not Superman. I couldn’t put my foot down in time.”

To this day, Tatum is still facing obstacles as a result of her foolish mistake. She is unable to stand for long periods of time and is unable to continue her career as an EMS. The consequences are serious. “I keep telling everybody, you don’t want this life… You don’t want the pain and agony every day,” she said.

Do not make this same mistake. Injuries such as these can happen in the blink of an eye and could be easily avoided if passengers just rode smarter. Don’t ruin your road trip and risk your life with such a careless act.

cliff cardone new orleans attorneyBeing in a more comfortable position is not worth it. Remember to BE SMART and do NOT ride with your feet on the dash.

If you or someone you know has been injured in an accident and would like to discuss your case, contact us today. PHONE CARDONE at 504-522-3333 or 1-888-892-2736 or email us at ccardone@cardonelaw.com for a free consultation.

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