Literally Breaking News: Why You Should Keep Your Feet Off the Dashboard

“Sad story but a good reminder not to do this. I shared with my teenager who is wont to prop her feet up on the dash and thinks I’m being stupid for making her take them down”, Ryan — who is a reader of The Gateposted in response to this article I wrote two years and two days ago pertaining to the one reason why you should keep your feet off of the dashboard when inside of a moving vehicle. “Hopefully it starts to sink in.”

Literally Breaking News: Why You Should Keep Your Feet Off the Dashboard

When I wrote the aforementioned article back on Tuesday, August 11, 2015, I had no idea that only nine days earlier, the nose, ankle, femur, and shoulder of Audra Tatum were broken — this is where the literally breaking news comes in — by the forces caused as a result of an automobile accident in Chickamauga, which is a town in Georgia located 14 miles south of the city of Chattanooga.

Since that accident two years ago, Tatum is still recovering — not only because she placed her feet up onto the dashboard; but also because her seat belt was not fastened around her.

“We were heading to my parents to pick up our two sons. A car came up to a stop sign and we were coming down the road and he pulled out in front of us…we T-boned him,” Tatum told Allison Levine, who wrote this article — which includes a video report — as a reporter for WTVC News Channel 9 in Chattanooga. “When the airbag exploded, it pushed my foot up into my face.”

The doctors who treated her reportedly told her that she would have had no issues had both her feet been firmly planted on the floor of the car.

“I regret it every single day. Every hour of every day because every time I put pressure on my leg I feel it….Do not sit like that. If you sit like that you’re asking for it,” Tatum warned. “It took my career from me. It took so much from me in life.”

Posted at the official Facebook Internet web site of the Chattanooga Fire Department was the following…

…and just in case it is no longer available, it contained the following text:

“While traveling this weekend, I noticed many passengers had their feet on the dashboard of their car. 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. This post was viewed thousands of times last year, but it’s worth repeating. And yes, the driver and passenger should also be wearing seat belts too!”


I never understood why passengers in a car would want to remove their shoes and rest their feet on the dashboard. Maybe it is an opportunity to air out their feet. Perhaps it is comfortable for them. I do not know; but if I were to try it, I would surely be uncomfortable.

Your chances of being involved in an automobile accident are significantly higher than being involved in an airplane crash — especially if you are a passenger in a moving vehicle where the driver is texting — and though the potentially unsightliness of the sight of bare feet may be enough of a reason not to put feet on the dashboard inside of a car, perhaps the increased risk of danger might be more convincing as the one reason why you should keep your feet off the dashboard of the car.

In the event of a sudden collision, there is no time to react; and airbags can deploy in a fraction of a second with a force so powerful that it can cause substantial — and possibly permanently irreparable — bodily damage.

The safest solution is a matter of simple prevention: keep your feet on the floor; and never ever place them up on the dashboard in a moving vehicle.

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

One thought on “Literally Breaking News: Why You Should Keep Your Feet Off the Dashboard”

  1. Frank Doyle says:

    No sympathy for these dopes.

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