Long car rides can be boring and uncomfortable. If you’re traveling with small children, they can also be loud! Keeping children comfortable and entertained in the car is no small task. Many parents pack books and snacks, and allow their children to stretch out and get comfy. Whatever helps keep the car ride from becoming a disaster. When all is finally quiet, it’s the passenger’s turn to relax and get more comfortable. If you’re a feet-up-on-the-dashboard kind of person, you’ll want to rethink it after hearing this story.
In August of 2010, 22-year-old Bethany was sitting in the passenger seat while her boyfriend drove the pair home from her aunt’s house in Michigan. They had just crossed into Oshawa in their 2002 Pontiac Sunfire when Bethany decided to stretch out to get more comfortable. She leaned the seat back, put her feet up on the dashboard and fell asleep.
A short time later, a vehicle in their path collided with a motorcycle. The collision caused a chain reaction. The semi-truck driver directly in front of Bethany’s Sunfire slammed on his brakes. Bethany’s boyfriend was unable to stop the car in time, and the Sunfire crashed into the semi-trunk in front of them. Just before the crash, Bethany’s boyfriend was able to swerve just enough to save her legs.
The results were tragic. The motorcyclist passed away, and Bethany’s boyfriend needed 100 stitches. In that instant, Bethany’s life was changed forever. Because she had her feet up on the dashboard when they crashed, Bethany suffered broken bones in both of her feet. When the air bags went off in the car, they hit the back on her knees, causing her knees to slam into her face. She was left with a broken eye socket, a broken cheek bone and a broken nose.
After seeing photos of the Sunfire after the crash, it seems like a miracle that Bethany and her boyfriend survived. Bethany has no memory of the crash, but she is still feeling the effects of that day. She wears special orthopedic shoes and she struggles to manage her pain.
An airbag deploys at a speed of about 200 miles per hour. This is faster than the blink of an eye. While air bags are meant to keep people safe, they can cause injuries, especially if a passenger isn’t sitting properly in their seat with a seat belt on. Bethany, now 26 years out, went public with her story in hopes that others will learn about the dangers of getting too comfortable in the car.
Check out the video below for more information on the importance of air bag safety!