Whenever my husband drives, I always find myself with my feet up on the dash. It’s super comfortable especially on long road trips.
But I recently found out how dangerous of a position it is! Bethany Benson had her feet on the dashboard of her boyfriend’s car when he fell asleep at the wheel and they hit the back of a semi-truck. That moment in August of 2010 changed her life forever…
If it wasn’t for the fact that they were both wearing their seat belts, they wouldn’t be alive today. Unfortunately, because Bethany had her feet up on the dash when the airbag deployed. The airbag inflated at more than 300 km per hour causing her knees to slam backwards into her head.
“I always used to put my feet up in a car,” she said. “It’s easier on the back if you have your feet up. I never even thought that it could be so dangerous.”
Her knees crushed her left eye socket/cheekbone, she broke her nose, her spleen had to be removed, and her brain began bleeding. Eight bones were broken in her left foot and three bones in her right foot.
Even though her injuries are no longer visible, she will have to be on multiple medications for the rest of her life. She also has to relearn motor skills, speech and is sometimes unable to control her moods.
“I got back a different daughter,” her mother, Mary Lachapelle, told Driving. “I lost a sweet 22-year-old who worked full-time and put herself through university. She was on a great path. I got a 13-year-old with anger issues.”
Bethany wants to educate as many people as she can about the dangers of riding with your feet on the dash.
“Now I see people doing it all the time and it just bothers me because they don’t know how dangerous it is,” she said. “I just want to scream at them, to tell them not to do it, because they might end up like me.”