Emily Chung: Mummy Mechanic


Dear Front Seat Passenger: Don't Sit Back Like This

Keep your feet on the floor

Feet on dash

Summertime is here and many people sitting in the front passenger seat want to put their feet up on the dash or out the window while they're cruising. To be honest, as a driver I can't stand staring at other people's feet.

But if you need a better reason why you shouldn't put your feet up on the dash, ask any experienced Paramedic what people look like when they do this and the airbag deploys in a collision. Remember that most new cars have airbags along the pillar too (see circles in image below) so depending on the collision, you may have airbags deploying underneath and/or next to your feet. Not fun.

Airbag location

Generally-speaking the purpose of an airbag is to slow your movement evenly and quickly in the case of a collision. Your car uses information from various sensors to determine which airbag to deploy. Some vehicles also have weight sensors in the seat to ensure that the proper rate of inflation occurs when the airbag goes off (if at all). So yes, your car knows how much you weigh... there's no hiding those extra servings of cheesecake! Your car's airbag can deploy at a speed of 320 km per hour in approximately 0.04 seconds. Way too fast for you to put your feet back on the floor.

The next time your passengers want to put up their feet, remind them that the airbag is right there and they may not want to be trapped in that position if you get into a collision!

Be prepared in case you're in a collision. Read these to find out 5 steps to take after a car accident and what you information you need to get at the scene of a collision.