Passengers put your feet up…or not

11 August 2017 - By Eugene Herbert

Feet tired, need to stretch the legs – why not put your feet up on the dash?!?!?! This is something many people do not even think is dangerous.  A crash can trigger the airbag that when triggered (which can happen because of a mere bump to the vehicle at speeds as low as 20kph), emerge and inflate at speeds of up to 300kph. They are most certainly not nice fluffy cushions. If you have one or both of your feet up on the dashboard at the time, the results will be serious and can even kill you.

 

Many people ride as passengers – perhaps you know some of them – with their feet up on the vehicle’s dash.  Unfortunately, it’s a common sight on some highways…

 

While these type of incidents frequently don’t get much coverage in the media, details of one is receiving coverage in the American press. On August 8, 2017, CBS News ran the story of Audra Tatum, a mother of three, from Georgia. In the aftermath of the crash, Audra Tatum says she was face-to-face with the bottom of her own foot.

 

One thing she freely admits is her husband often warns her of the dangers of putting her feet up on the dash. She always tells him that if anything bad starts to happen she will put her feet down in time.  However, after a broken ankle, leg, arm and nose, her take on those earlier, frankly impossible promises, is different. She says she is not Superman, and couldn’t possibly get her foot down in time.  Indeed, she blames her injuries entirely on her own, earlier ‘ignorance’.

 

So have you now been warned?  Injuries and deaths from this cause are amongst the very easiest to avoid.  It’s only a case of keeping your feet and legs down, out of the path of the passenger airbag.

 

While it is true we may not – in South Africa – read of such instances, there are probably more than we care to admit. So, in the interest of keeping your face in one piece and possibly even save your life:

 

Sit properly- and keep your belt on.

 

Drive safely




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