A Georgia woman who, as a passenger in the front seat would commonly place her feet on the dashboard of the family car would say to everyone listening: “just don’t do it.” How often have you or an adult friend or family member done this very thing without a second thought? According to several interviews, including one reported in USA Today, the Georgia mom was severely injured two years ago after her family’s car struck a vehicle that shot out in front of theirs. She was the only one hurt in the crash and was not wearing a seat belt. Her husband and children were fine, but her injuries from the auto crash were severe. Her airbag deployed and because her legs were on the dash at the time of impact, she sustained serious injuries to her ankle, femur and arm. The way she put it, her “whole right side was broken.” The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety notes that airbags deploy at about 200 mph, which emits energy to save a life, but can hurt a misplaced limb as happened here.
One of the ironies about this car crash and her serious injuries is that the injured victim’s husband repeatedly warned her not to put her feet on the dash. He told her over and over again that one day she would regret this habit. He cautioned that if they were in an accident, she could be hurt having her legs up on the dash. When you stop and think about this, it makes perfect sense. As a former EMS (she cannot work in her field any longer) one would think she would have known or considered this … and apparently she did at times. But it was not enough to stop her from continuing to put herself in harm’s way because in her words, “it was comfortable.”
But on the day of the accident, her injuries were so severe that it has taken years to recover and she is still in pain. She is now trying to put her tragedy behind her by doing good and informing others of the dangers in this practice. The airbag that deployed on impact is credited with making her injuries less severe. But with legs in this position on the dashboard, and with airbags deploying, her leg was pushed back towards her body and her comfort became a life long regret. Having one’s limbs in the wrong location in a motor vehicle is extremely dangerous. Experts say the blast can be so powerful, it can cause serious damage to life and limb as it did for this mom. When you see a teen or older child putting their feet up in the car or on the dash, stop them. This is a simple way to keep your body in the position that is intended for your greatest safety in a motor vehicle.