We’re officially in the dog days of summer, when there’s really nothing better than taking a car ride with the music turned up real loud, the windows rolled all the way down, and your feet resting on the dashboard. Right? Well, Audra Tatum, a Georgia woman, would urge you to change just one thing from that summertime scene: take your feet off the goddamn dashboard.
And let’s just say you should take her word for it: she now has six screws and a metal rod in her leg.
Two years ago, Audra Tatum was in the passengers seat with her family when her car T-boned another car at an intersection. She wasn’t wearing a seatbelt and had her feet up on the dashboard, and when the two cars collided, the airbag was activated. "When the airbag exploded, it pushed my foot up into my face," Tatum told News Channel 9.
Auto blog Jalopnik had a pretty good explanation for why that accident is so painful. In order for air bags to be effective during a crash, they must fly out of the dashboard faster than your head is flying towards it in order to cushion you. During a crash, your head is moving forward at the same speed that the car is moving at, which means that Tatum’s foot “came flying at her face at least faster than 45 mph.” Here’s another way of thinking about it: the force of her own foot was what broke bones in both her shoulder and face. As if that wasn’t enough, her femur was also shattered in four places.
Doctors at the hospital who treated Tatum told her that if she had been sitting normally, with her two feet on the ground, she would have been completely fine. Now, two years after the crash, she is still recovering.
"It took my career from me. It took so much from me in life," she said. "I regret it every single day. Every hour of every day because every time I put pressure on my leg I feel it. Do not sit like that. If you sit like that you're asking for it.”