The upcoming Independence Day holiday weekend will send many Americans into their cars for family vacations. So for our Travel Tip of the Week, I would like to remind all our readers to please watch where they put their feet.
I suspect that most Theme Park Insider readers have the phrase “please keep your hands, arms, legs, and feet inside the ride vehicle at all times” burned into your core memories by now. But maintaining the correct sitting position isn’t important just on theme park rides. You really should be doing that anytime you ride in any moving vehicle.
Including your car.
It’s tempting for many people “riding shotgun” in the front passenger seat to stretch by placing their feet up on the dash. But taking your feet off the car floor and putting them up above the glovebox puts you at substantially higher risk for debilitating injuries, even in a minor collision.
Sure, you might think you will stay safe, even by taking your chances, but why risk it? You can’t control all those other idiots on the road. All it takes is a tap on the rear bumper at speed to jam your leg into a position from which not even the most experience yoga master can escape injury.
Think you can move your legs out of the way quickly during an accident? You can’t. Unless you are name is “Peter Maximoff” (that’s the Fox version, remember, and not the slower, doomed MCU one), that airbag will be moving your legs long before your brain can send any other message to them. Dash airbags are designed to cushion properly seated passengers, so if your legs are straddling that airbag, it’s going to slam your legs up and into the car’s breaking windshield before slamming them into the car’s metal frame.
You’re not walking away from that. It might be a very, very long time before you walk anywhere, under any conditions, after that.
If you legs are cramping and you need to stretch, just stop. Take a break. Don’t fall into the trap that you have to make time and lay down miles at all costs when on a roadtrip. Because “all costs” are too often turn out to be far more than anyone was willing to pay, in retrospect.
So get an early start and plan to take enough breaks to keep everyone comfortable while they are properly seated in the car. Roadtrips are my favorite way to travel, but the road demands respect. Don’t drive tired. Don’t drive angry. And don’t drive when anyone’s feet are up on the dash.
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