The Chattanooga Fire Department shared this alarming message, which was originally posted by road safety activist Shane O’Connor on Twitter, to warn people about the dangers of riding in a car with their feet on the dashboard.
“While traveling this weekend, I noticed many passengers had their feet on the dashboard of their car,” the post read. “Airbags deploy between 100 & 220 MPH. If you ride with your feet on the dash and you’re involved in an accident, the airbag may send your knees through your eye sockets.”
If you think that’s a far-fetched scenario, one Georgia woman can testify to the validity of it.
Audra Tatum says that she used to ride in cars with her feet on the dashboard all the time. “My husband would tell me, ‘If we have a wreck it’s going to break your leg.’ I dismissed him,” she said. But on August 2, 2015, all that changed when Tatum and her husband T-boned another vehicle on their way to pick up their two sons from her parents’ house.
At the time of the crash, Tatum wasn’t wearing a seat belt and was also resting her foot up against the dashboard. The force of the airbags exploding threw her foot up into her face, shattering her nose, ankle, femur and shoulder. Sadly, doctors told Tatum that if she had both of her feet on the floor at the time of the crash, she likely wouldn’t have sustained any injuries at all.