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Experts Reveal Why Riding With Your Feet on the Dashboard Can Harm You Badly

It’s a cool feeling to be a passenger during a long car ride. Music selection and beautiful views are the only things you need to worry about. Many people have the temptation to put their feet on the dashboard and enjoy a carefree ride. Unfortunately, a wrong position in a car leads to an increased risk of serious injury or even death.

We at Bright Side learned the dangers of such irresponsible behavior and can’t wait to share this information with you. Don’t forget to check the bonus section—you’ll see that celebrities don’t always show a good example.

The speed of airbag deployment

If you think that in a dangerous situation you’ll be able to get your legs off the dashboard quickly, it’s high time you reconsider your approach. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, airbag deployment takes less than 1/20 of a second. Even one blink of an eye lasts longer. Experts doubt that you will have time to even understand what’s going on.

Why it’s important to sit properly

Airbags may seem soft and small as long as they’re packed away in your dashboard, wheels, or seats. But even a small accident can lead to major injuries if passengers have their legs on the dashboard. For example, the sudden release may push the legs up through the roof or through a broken windshield. Airbags may also force the legs toward the face that can result in broken legs, nose, and forehead.

Seat belts were designed to secure occupants during sudden stops or accidents. And they have proven their effectiveness: seat belt usage reduces serious crash-related injuries and deaths by about half. But this is possible only if a passenger sits properly. If a person is angled differently (with their legs on a dashboard), the seat belt may harm organs or even sever limbs.

Again and again, we hear that a car company enstated a recall and no one is impervious to it. Airbag deployment may occur for no reason. And improperly constructed dashboards can slice a leg open or force knees toward a passenger’s shoulders or face.

“Trust me when I say it is not worth it. I am still recovering from my accident 10 years later.”

Gráinne Kealy was in a car crash in 2006. As a result of an airbag explosion, she kneed herself in the face. She underwent a 10.5-hour surgery to have the injuries fixed. She also had her forehead removed for 2 years.

Now she shares her experience and warns about the dangers of the “feet-on-the-dashboard” behavior. “It breaks my heart that not nearly enough people know how dangerous it is. It breaks my heart that I can’t reach enough people to warn them before another person has to go through what I had to go through.”

Bonus: celebrities can also demonstrate irresponsible behavior.

Car rides are very enjoyable and relaxing, but extremely dangerous. During 2017 there were 37,133 people killed in motor vehicle accidents on US roadways. And irresponsible behavior is one of the reasons that lead to severe injuries or even worse outcomes.

It is important to keep in mind that it is better to be safe than sorry. We have only one life. There are so many moments that can bring us more pleasure than putting our legs up on the dashboard.

Do you know somebody who regularly puts their feet on a dashboard? Share this article with people you care about to keep them safe.

Illustrated by Yekaterina Ragozina for Bright Side
Bright Side/Health/Experts Reveal Why Riding With Your Feet on the Dashboard Can Harm You Badly
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