Passengers may try to make themselves feel more comfortable during car rides by resting their feet on the dashboard. However, did you know that resting your feet on the dash can lead to traumatic, life-changing injuries should your vehicle be involved in an accident? The risks of sustaining injuries from an accident are greatly amplified if you have your feet up. Passengers, always remember to keep your feet down. Drivers, always keep an eye out for your passengers and remind them to keep their feet off the dash.

Injuries From Resting Your Feet on the Dashboard

It’s important to remember that accidents can happen in the blink of an eye. Unfortunately, you cannot expect to have enough time to move your legs from the dashboard before an accident occurs. 

Airbags deploy between 100 and 220 MPH and are engineered to reduce the risk of your upper body or head striking the interior of the vehicle during a crash. However, if your feet are resting on the dashboard, the strength of the airbag can significantly injure the hips, causing fully dislocated hips and broken bones. Airbags going off with your feet up can also force the knees backwards through the eye sockets, causing significant damage. 

These injuries can impact the long-term health and wellness of those involved. Depending on the specific injuries, the recovery process generally consists of surgeries, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and other medical treatments. 

Know the Proper Sitting Position While in a Car

The safety features in vehicles such as airbags and seatbelts are designed to keep passengers safe while in a proper sitting position. When you do not sit properly in the car, the features designed to keep you safe in emergency situations can actually cause severe injuries. 

To help reduce the risk of injury, everyone in a car should:

  • Face towards the front of the vehicle
  • Wear their seatbelt
  • Firmly press their feet on the floor
  • Rest their shoulders and back directly against the backrest
  • Have a two-finger gap between the seat and back of the knees

Is Having My Feet on the Dash Illegal in South Carolina?

In South Carolina, it is not against the law to have your feet up on the dash as a passenger. It is, however, a decision that can change your life forever and should be avoided. We advise all passengers in a car, no matter what seat you’re in, to maintain proper seating positions to help reduce the risk of serious injuries should an accident happen.

Woman in the passenger seat resting her feet on the dashboard while holding her legs
Woman in the passenger seat resting her feet on the dashboard while holding her legs

Am I Legally Responsible For Injuries Sustained in an Accident if I Was Sitting Improperly?

It is possible that an insurance company or their lawyer may argue that you were partially at fault for your injuries if you were sitting improperly at the time of the accident.  In South Carolina, the amount you are found to be at fault for the accident and resulting injuries directly impacts the compensation you are eligible to receive from your personal injury lawsuit, this is referred to as comparative negligence.  

For example, if you have $100,000 in damages but are found to be 25% at-fault, then you may only qualify to receive up to $75,000. 

As long as you are found less than 51% at-fault, then you can receive compensation.

If you have any questions about fault in South Carolina car accidents, please feel free to reach out to our team. We’re here to help.

What To Do If You’re Hurt in an Accident and Your Feet Were on the Dash

If you were involved in a car accident in South Carolina and your feet were on the dashboard, the first step is to immediately seek medical attention. The level of these injuries can be very severe, and your health is the top priority.

Next, it is in your best interest to speak with an experienced South Carolina car accident lawyer as soon as possible. The personal injury attorneys at Cavanaugh & Thickens have over 60 years of combined experience handling serious car accident cases, and are here to help you get back on track physically, financially, and emotionally. We will protect your rights and get you the entirety of what you’re owed under South Carolina law for your injuries, medical expenses, lost wages, emotional damages, and more. Call our office now at (803) 888-2200 or fill out our online form and we will be in touch as soon as possible. For your convenience, we are available via phone 24/7.