Authorities have long warned passengers against resting their feet on the dashboard, but one woman’s horrific story might just be the encouragement that some need to finally heed their warning.
Two years ago, Audra Tatum from Georgia and her husband were driving to her parents’ house when they were T-boned by a car which had pulled out in front of them. Unfortunately, Audra had been resting her feet against the dashboard at the time of impact, causing her serious injury.
“The airbag went off, throwing my foot up and breaking my nose,” she told CBS News. “I was looking at the bottom of my foot facing up at me.”
In addition to her nose, Audra broke her ankle, femur and arm, leaving her unable to walk for a month. She is still recovering from the damage to this day and cannot stand for more than four hours at a time, crippling her career as an EMS. “Basically, my whole right side was broken, and it’s simply because of my ignorance,” she admitted. “I’m not Superman. I couldn’t put my foot down in time.”
Her story was shared on Facebook by the Chattanooga Fire Department, who echoed her warning. “Airbags deploy between 100 and 220 m/h [160 to 350 km/h],” they explained. “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.”
Audra hopes her experience will be the breakthrough that others desperately need. “If I can save one person from doing this and they’re not going through it, that would be wonderful."