There are many ups and downs to taking your family on a long car trip. The fighting, shoving, and constant refrain of “are we there yet?” could almost outweigh the price of a plane ticket. But while they settle into their books and online games, it’s not a bad way to get the family vacation off the ground... until your daughter puts her feet up on the dashboard in the passenger seat.

Why Resting Your Feet on the Dashboard Can Cause Serious Crash Injuries

Although you have warned your children several times about the dangers of putting their feet up while riding in the passenger seat, it seems all of those warnings are forgotten once they get settled in. If they think you’re being overprotective, you might want to share the following stories of how young people have suffered injuries with their legs on the dash:

  • Windshield trauma. The most obvious threat to a passenger riding with his feet up is the danger of his legs going straight through the windshield in a crash. Many passengers have had their legs broken or even amputated as a result of becoming embedded in the glass.
  • Airbag injuries. Airbags are designed to save lives, but they only work properly when a passenger is sitting upright. If a passenger’s feet are on the dash, the sudden deployment of the airbag can force their knees upward, sending their legs into their chest and face.
  • Seat Belt injuries. Putting your feet on the dash changes the position of the seat belt, and can cause you to slide forward and into the footwell upon impact. Not only does this increase the chances of broken ribs and internal injuries, passengers are more likely to suffer spinal injuries in a crash.
  • Low-speed crashes. Even if a vehicle is involved in an accident at a relatively low speed, a passenger with his feet on the dashboard is more likely to sustain injury than any other occupant. A crash with an impact at 30 mph or less can still cause the airbag to deploy, even if there is minimal damage to the vehicle.

Want to keep your kids’ feet off the dashboard for good? Post a link to this article on their Facebook pages or share this link to them via email. They may roll their eyes at first, but you will notice they’re suddenly keeping their feet in the ground.


Manfred Ricciardelli
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Morristown Workers' Compensation Lawyer