Feet Up on the Dashboard? Think Again. X-Ray Shows Horrific Car Accident Injuries

feet upA picture floating around the internet recently will make you think twice next time you drive with a passenger in the front seat of your car.  The photo shows the x-ray of a female victim who suffered severe and permanently disabling injuries in an auto accident. In comparison, the other passengers in the same crash suffered only minor scratches and bruises. Why? The woman had her feet up on the passenger side dashboard. The force of the collision deployed the passenger side airbag, throwing her foot into her face. As car accident lawyers in Rhode Island, it’s not uncommon to see one passenger in a car crash injured more severely than another. However, the extent of this woman’s injuries from a minor crash were expansive enough to be life-changing, while her fellow passengers were basically unscathed. This is all due to her positioning with her feet on the dash. The impact of the collision snapped a femur, broke a hip in its socket, and dislocated the other hip far where it should be located. In addition, she broke her nose, arm, and ankle.

Injuries from Airbags

We’ve seen a number of clients at Tapalian Law who likely would not be here with us today if not for the life-saving effects of an airbag. As a Rhode Island Car Accident Attorney David Tapalian has seen first-hand the undeniable advantages of airbags when a person is involved in a car crash. In most cases, airbags deploy at a powerful speed of 100 to 220mph. Unquestionably, some people are hurt by the airbag when it deploys. Yet, the safety benefits of airbags far outweigh the risks.

Types of airbag injuries include, but are not limited to:

  • Eye injuries
  • Broken nose
  • Abrasions to arms, chests, & face
  • Bruising to arms, chest, face, & knees
  • Burns or abrasions from the speed at which the airbag deploys
  • Concussion
  • Bruising to internal organs and/or internal bleeding
  • Lung irritation from the chemicals released upon deployment
  • Fetal injuries

Generally, an airbag deploys when the crash sensor senses a moderate to severe crash, but minor crashes can also signal the sensor to deploy. In this crash case, if not for the airbag, the woman’s head and body may have hit the windshield or dashboard resulting in worse personal injury. Car Accident Lawyer David Tapalian has seen critical blunt force trauma injuries result from Rhode Island car accidents where the victim’s head hit the steering wheel or windshield. If the woman’s feet were on the floor, instead of the dash, the airbag deployment may still have caused her injury such as a broken nose but it is highly unlikely her injuries would be as severe.

Airbag Safety

During an automobile crash, airbags reduce the chance of the upper body or head striking the interior of the vehicle. They are designed to work in conjunction with seatbelts, not to replace them. To prevent an airbag related injury, heed these tips on airbag safety:

  • Always use a seatbelt (view seatbelt fit recommendations from the NHTSA)
  • Keep feet on the floor
  • Children under age 13 should sit in the back seat
  • Position seats as far back from the steering wheel or dashboard as possible

So, are airbags worth it? Definitely. Safety personnel want to warn people, “… 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 that’s not a warning graphic enough for your passengers, we aren’t sure what will be!

Injured in a Car Accident? Call a Rhode Island Car Accident Attorney

If you are injured in a motor vehicle accident, seek immediate medical treatment. Even if your injuries seem minor, it’s important to seek proper medical treatment right away. As soon as you are able, contact an experienced accident attorney in Providence RI. Attorney David Tapalian has helped countless injured people in Rhode Island and Massachusetts seek compensation when they are hurt due to the fault of another person. The woman in this particular accident not only suffered excruciating pain, but had to undergo several surgeries and weeks of physical therapy. Even after undergoing extensive medical treatment, years after the crash she is still unable to work in the same capacity as before the accident. If someone else has caused you harm, Attorney Tapalian can help you seek compensation for your medical bills, surgeries, physical therapy, time lost from work, and lost wages if you are unable to return to your job in the same capacity as prior to being hurt. Contact Tapalian Law today for a free consultation of your personal injury case at


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