Propping your legs up on a vehicle’s dashboard could break your body for life.
Airbags deploy at between 100 and 220 miles per hour, and could “send your knees through your eye sockets” in the event of a crash, Tennessee’s Chattanooga Fire Department warns.
The message, one the department shared last year, too, is a frightening one that a Georgia woman is all too familiar with.
Two years ago, Audra Tatum had her legs crossed with one foot on the dashboard when she was involved in a crash that deployed the airbag, sending her foot into her face, CBS News reports.
“The airbag went off, throwing my foot up and breaking my nose,” Tatum, who wasn’t wearing a seat belt, told CBS. “I was looking at the bottom of my foot facing up at me.”
Besides her nose, Tatum broke her ankle, femur and arm, telling CBS she still walks with a limp and can’t stand more than 4 hours at a time.
“Basically my whole right side was broken, and it’s simply because of my ignorance,” Tatum said. “I’m not Superman. I couldn’t put my foot down in time.”
Tatum underwent several surgeries and weeks of physical therapy. It took her over a month to start walking again.
Two years later, she’s still facing obstacles.
“I can’t do my career as an EMS. I can’t lift patients anymore,” she explained. “I can’t stand more than 4 hours at a time. Once I’m at that 4-hour mark I’m in tears.”
Now the mom is using her story to warn others.
“I keep telling everybody, you don’t want this life,” she said. “You don’t want the pain and agony every day.”
A local fire department is helping to spread her story to demonstrate the serious consequences of resting your foot on a dashboard.
“Airbags deploy between 100 and 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,” the Chattanooga Fire Department warned in a Facebook post that has been shared more than 1,600 times.
If there wasn’t an airbag at all, Tatum predicts her injuries could have been even worse.
“It could have done so much more damage. It did make it break my nose, but I could’ve hit the dash a whole lot harder without that airbag,” she said.