It’s the middle of summer and you’re driving the Overland Parkway. From the driver’s seat, you see someone about to pass you on the left…and the first thing you see are a pair of bare feet. They’re resting their heels on the dashboard, slouching comfortably on the passenger seat. It looks so relaxing, but isn’t it dangerous?
Obviously, we’re talking about the front-seat passenger here. It’s highly unlikely the driver could contort their body to put their feet on the dash. But it seems like a bad idea for the passenger to put their feet on the dashboard, no matter how comfy it is. Is it safe?
Feet on the Dash Isn’t Safe!
That’s a really bad position to take when you’re in the passenger seat. Resting your feet on the dash may be relaxing, but there are three reasons why is is a bad idea.
Front End Collision
Picture a front end collision in slow motion when a passenger has their feet on the dash. The airbag impact sensor sends the message for the airbags to deploy and, because there’s someone in the seat, the passenger side airbag fires open. The plastic dash panel rips open and the airbag shoots out faster than you can blink.
Suddenly, this life-saving device has an obstacle in front of it. The passenger’s feet take the brunt underneath, flinging them upward toward the windshield or roof. The airbag’s force continues to push outward, sending knees back toward the passenger’s own face. Instead of protecting against injury, more damage is caused because of improper positioning.
Tricked OCS System
Imagine the front passenger has a slight build. Their feet, resting on the dash, and their shoulders pressed against the seat back bear their weight, not their bottom. Your Honda’s Occupant Classification System that determines the force with which airbags are deployed, doesn’t read their full weight. The passenger airbag doesn’t deploy with enough force, or not at all.
Improper Seatbelt Positioning
Again, think about a front end collision, even one not severe enough to deploy the airbags. Resting more prone than sitting upright, the seatbelt isn’t in the right position to hold the passenger in place. Instead of the shoulder and chest pushing against the shoulder strap, the passenger’s whole body slides down into the footwell, bottom end first. Folding like an accordion, it’s a great way to get injured. Whether you drive a Honda car, truck, SUV or van, or any other make or model, the passenger should never have their feet on the dash. Want to keep them safe? Pull over to the side of the road until they sit normally. As upright as comfortable, seatbelt on, and their feet on the floor.