Feet Off The Dash, Already

Some time ago I wrote about seeing a car where the driver, inexplicably and implausibly, was tooling down the road with her left foot hanging out the driver’s side window.  That’s pretty darned weird.  The most common example of vehicular foot shenanigans, of course, is to see people in the passenger seat with their feet up on the dashboard, pressed against the windshield.  In fact, I know one of those people rather well.

Any time you’re not using a device as it is designed to be used, you’re running a risk, and that’s as true with cars as it is for lawn mowers, power boats, or any other mechanism that comes with multi-page instruction manuals that feature lots of cautionary language and warnings in bold-faced black capital letters.  Cars are designed for drivers and passengers to keep their feet on the floor, and not have them on the dash or hanging out the window.

I ran across this piece about the risks you run when you keep your feet on the dash.  If you’re in that position when your car is in an accident, the car’s airbags will inflate in a split-second with explosive force, as they are designed to do, and drive your legs and knees back into your jaw, face and head with tremendous power just as your head and torso are being carried forward by the car’s motion.  You can imagine the terrible damage that can be done in that scenario — and that’s just one of the many appalling injury possibilities.  If you want to see some truly horrific images of bodily trauma, Google “feet on the dash” and see what you find.  It might just give you nightmares.

Maybe it’s more relaxing to ride with your feet on the dash, and maybe it’s just a bit more fun in a break-the-minor-rules-of-conduct kind of way.  Do yourself a favor, though, and resist the temptation.