Passenger feet are seen on dashboards everyday but would that be the case if travelers understood the dangers associated with ‘resting their legs’?
Putting your feet on the dashboard is dangerous and potentially fatal. Upon impact passenger frontal airbags are deployed from inside the dashboard so if your feet are up at the height of the dash your legs will be pushed upward rather than keeping your legs and lower body secured in a seated position.
Is it illegal?
NSW Road Rule 268 covers how persons must travel in or on a motor vehicle, however it does not mention the specifics on seating positions or having feet on the dashboard. So it’s not illegal but still should never be practiced, on the off chance your airbags are deployed while your feet are resting on the dash.
Frontal airbags generally deploy in head-on collisions where the force of the impact is greater than hitting a solid object at a speed greater than 25km/h. In head-on collisions with a stopped vehicle, the speed would generally need to be significantly higher than 25km/h for the airbags to deploy. This means that even a minor crash can cause serious damage if you are caught with your legs or feet resting on the dash.
Knee airbags are also deployed to keep your lower legs safe upon impact, but only if your feet are rested on (or close to) the floor. If these airbags were to push your legs and knee caps towards your face it could result in horrific injuries.
Crashes are unavoidable sometimes due to other driver’s mistakes and a vehicles safety features (i.e airbags) provide protection from injury. The vehicle structure, seat belt system and airbags are all designed to provide crash protection. However these features don’t work as intended if the person in the car is not sitting upright in the vehicle.
So next time you see feet up on the dashboard remind your loved ones to put them back on the floor where the vehicle’s airbags can keep you as safe as possible.
Would this information make you think twice about ‘riding shotgun’ with your feet on the dash?
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