Many a times, people put their legs up on the dashboard while in the car. To us, as enthusiasts it gets very annoying but did you know that it is massively unsafe to do so? That one moment of comfort could result in a lot of issues going forward, as this lady Audra Tatum found out, the hard way.
Audra was on her way to pick up her kids. She was sitting in the passenger seat with her legs up on the dashboard while her husband was driving. While they were driving, a car cut them off causing them to collide with it. While other occupants managed to walk away without much injury, Audra wasn’t so lucky.
She broke her ankle, femur, arm and even injured her nose. Her whole right hand side was damaged severely and she had to undergo several surgeries and weeks of physiotherapy, before she could walk again. It took her over a month to do so.
But what exactly happened?
The above is a video that showcases what exactly happened. When an airbag deploys, it does so at a rapid rate (320 kmph roughly). The airbag is meant to protect your face and the chest from hitting the dashboard. Having your legs on the dashboard would result in your leg being pushed back at a rapid rate onto your face which could result in more damage, as you can see in the video above.
She says her husband used to warn her about this being unsafe, but she found it very comfortable and thought that she would be able to move her foot in the event of a collision. However, that was not case. In an interview, she had the following to say:
All my life I had my legs crossed and my foot on the dash. My husband always told me, ‘You’re going to get in a wreck someday, and you’re going to break your legs.
However, her answer to that was that
I’ll put my foot down in time
When the accident took place,
The airbag went off, throwing my foot up and breaking my nose. I was looking at the bottom of my foot facing up at me.
Basically my whole right side was broken, and it’s simply because of my ignorance. I’m not Superman. I couldn’t put my foot down in time.
This has resulted in her life getting changed as well. She was an EMS and her job was to lift patients, something which she cannot do anymore. She isn’t allowed to stand for more than 4 hours either and is in a lot of pain when she does stand for that long.
What should be done?
When sitting in the front of a car with airbags, always keep feet down and make sure you wear your seatbelt. You may think that you have fast reflexes to move in case of a crash, however that will not happen, as you can see from the images.