Passengers who put their feet up in a moving vehicle could be putting themselves at even greater risk of injury in the event of a crash.
Airbags are designed to cushion the head and chest of an adult passenger sitting in an upright position and wearing a correctly fitted seatbelt. If the passenger is sitting incorrectly, there is a greater risk of injury in a crash.
Airbags deploy at speeds of up to 330km/h and can deliver a force of more than 400kg to a front-seat passenger.
Where a passenger has their feet on the dashboard, airbag deployment could result in their knees being forced into their chest or face.
There is also a risk of leg fractures or spinal injuries.
Sitting with your feet on the dashboard also compromises the effectiveness of a seatbelt, leaving major internal organs vulnerable to damage in a crash.
As airbags are designed to protect adult passengers, they pose an even greater injury risk to infants and small children sitting in the front passenger seat.
New child car restraint laws introduced in October now make it illegal to sit a child under seven years of age in the front seat of a car with only the car’s seatbelt as protection.
RAC reminds motorists that it is their responsibility to ensure that all passengers in their vehicle are properly restrained and sitting safely.