Why You Should Never Ride with Your Feet on the Dashboard

Many passengers find it comfortable to rest their feet on the dashboard while on a road trip. However, this seemingly harmless act can have serious consequences. Here’s why you should never ride with your feet on the dashboard.

Injuries From Resting Your Feet on the Dashboard

Resting your feet on the dashboard can lead to severe injuries in the event of an accident. The dashboard is a key area where airbags deploy, and the force of an airbag deployment can cause significant harm if your feet are in the way.

  1. Airbag Deployment Injuries: Airbags are designed to deploy rapidly during a collision, with speeds reaching up to 200 miles per hour. If your feet are on the dashboard, they can be violently pushed back into your face and upper body, causing fractures, dislocations, and other serious injuries. This can include broken bones in the legs, knees, hips, and pelvis, and even facial fractures and brain injuries due to the impact.
  2. Spinal Injuries: The improper sitting position can lead to spinal injuries. The force of an accident can cause the body to twist unnaturally, leading to severe spinal cord damage. This can result in long-term consequences, including paralysis and chronic pain.
  3. Soft Tissue Injuries: The sudden force of an airbag deployment can cause severe soft tissue injuries, including muscle tears, ligament damage, and internal organ injuries. These injuries can be extremely painful and require long-term rehabilitation.

Know the Proper Sitting Position While in a Car

Maintaining the proper sitting position in a car is crucial for safety. Here are a few tips:

  1. Sit Upright: Always sit upright with your back against the seat. This position helps ensure that your seatbelt and airbags can function correctly in the event of an accident.
  2. Feet on the Floor: Keep your feet flat on the floor. This position provides better stability and ensures that your legs are in the safest position if an airbag deploys.
  3. Adjust Your Seatbelt: Ensure your seatbelt fits properly. The lap belt should be snug across your hips, not your stomach, and the shoulder belt should lie across your chest and shoulder, not your neck.

Is It Illegal to Rest Your Feet on a Car Dashboard?

While there are no specific laws against resting your feet on the dashboard in most places, it is highly discouraged due to the safety risks involved. Law enforcement and safety organizations continuously advise against this practice because it can lead to more severe injuries in the event of a crash. Some regions may have laws regarding seat belt use and proper seating positions that indirectly address this issue.

Additionally, if an accident occurs and it is found that you were not seated properly, it could affect insurance claims and legal proceedings. This brings us to the next point.

Am I Responsible for Injuries if I Was Sitting Improperly?

If you are injured in an accident while sitting improperly, such as with your feet on the dashboard, you may bear some responsibility for your injuries. This can have several implications:

  1. Insurance Claims: Insurance companies may reduce the compensation you receive if it’s found that your improper sitting position contributed to the severity of your injuries. This is because your actions can be seen as contributing to the harm you suffered, which can impact the liability assessment.
  2. Legal Liability: In some cases, you might be considered partially liable for your injuries. This concept is known as “comparative negligence.” For example, if you were 30% at fault for your injuries due to your improper sitting position, your compensation could be reduced by 30%.
  3. Personal Injury Claims: If you file a car accident lawsuit, the defense may argue that your injuries were exacerbated by your own negligence in not sitting properly. This can influence the outcome of the case and the amount of compensation awarded.

Understanding the importance of proper seating positions and the risks associated with resting your feet on the dashboard is crucial for your safety. Always prioritize safe sitting practices to minimize injury risks in the event of an accident.

Author: Brandon Park