By on February 12, 2013

 

WARNING: If you think this picture is too gross, do NOT hit the jump. – BS

We have all seen it before. You are cruising right down the road, and it immediately catches your attention. There is a female passenger in another vehicle with her feet up on the dash.  Imagine the horror if someone did this to your brand new vehicle!

The nightmare came true for both Bob and Carol. They were running errands around town and Carol put her foot up on the glistening dash of Bob’s new SUV. Holding back his true thoughts, Bob politely says, “Honey, please get your foot off of my new dash.” Carol replies, “I am just admiring my new pedicure like you’ve been admiring your new SUV.” As the conversation heats up, Bob becomes distracted while making a left hand turn at a four-way intersection and fails to yield to an oncoming vehicle. Distracted as well, Carol still has her foot on the dash at the time of impact.  

Brake pedals are slammed to the floor and evasive maneuvers fail. Bob’s brand new SUV is struck in the right front corner sending it into a spin, before it rolls over onto its roof and slides to a stop. Fortunately, all the occupants of both vehicles were seat belted and most were able to walk away from the crash. Carol was not so lucky. As the passenger frontal bag deployed, it pushed Carol’s foot through the windshield and her toes were amputated as the vehicle slid on its roof, dragging her foot across the hot summer asphalt.

One can only imagine the pain and fear when Carol looked down and saw that her toes were gone. After stabilizing Carol for transport to the hospital, the good-intentioned paramedic recovered her missing toes. After transferring Carol’s care to me, he said, “here are her toes for you to put back on.” I smiled and thanked him, knowing well that was not going to happen. Not only were two toes completely missing but the three amputated toes along with her foot were too badly damaged to perform a reimplantation.

Carol received a complete trauma evaluation, and fortunately the only injury was to her foot. We took her to the operating room and cleaned things up, leaving Carol a functional forefoot amputation. After a couple of days of physical therapy she was back on her feet. Humor truly is good medicine, especially with trauma patients who tend to forget how lucky they are.  Carol could have lost her leg, both legs, her life. One day on rounds I told her I had good news and bad news for her. The bad news, Carol, is you lost your toes. The good news is your pedicures will be half-priced. But hearing the phrase, “you won’t be standing on your tippy-toes” brought a momentary scowl to her face. We both laughed and Carol was grateful for her life and not having been injured worse.

Lesson: ladies keep your feet off of the dash, bad things can happen quickly. For guys like Bob, always pay more attention to your lady than your new vehicle.

Dr. Delaney is a trauma surgeon, lifelong automotive enthusiast, shade tree mechanic, race fan, and motor vehicle safety expert. During his career, he has seen injuries one just cannot make up, and many of them involve motor vehicle crashes. He has been telling these stories for years, and he thinks it’s time to write them down.

 

PSA

Due to overwhelming demand, we produced this handy reminder. Cut out and stick to dash. You are welcome.

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157 Comments on “A Day in the Life of a Trauma Surgeon: Get Your Foot Off of My Dash...”


  • avatar
    cruster

    Wow – how about hiding the first pic behind a link and a warning? Totally NSFW, totally inappropriate for a car news site.

    • 0 avatar
      Wacko

      How is this NSFW?
      It is just an warning not to put your feet on the dash.
      I know my gilfriend does this, but no more, not after seeing these pictures.

      • 0 avatar
        investable

        Agreed, My wife does this in the summer on the way to the shore. This is a real eye opener.

        This IS a car site AND this is auto related! If this was your last straw and now you won’t come back, you were looking for an excuse to put that in writing.

      • 0 avatar
        cruster

        I don’t know where you work, but in my office having a picture of severed toes up on your screen would certainly be considered questionable behavior. I’m in no way arguing the content of the article, and people should very much be aware of the risks of this kind of behavior – and in fact I support demonstrating those risks in this way…but this isn’t r/gore – people sign in here expecting pictures of cars. The first pic should be hidden behind a link as a freakin’ courtesy as it is way outside of the norm for this site.

        • 0 avatar
          randalldorm

          i don’t know where you work at but browsing the internet for anything unrelated to work would be considered inappropriate and questionable behavior….but who am i to judge?

    • 0 avatar

      I disagree. The surgeon has performed a very valuable service with this article, although anyone should realize that it’s not exactly smart to stick your feet in the way of the airbag.

      • 0 avatar
        Robert Gordon

        Isn’t the doctor missing the point that the cause of the accident was Bob’s inattentive driving or possible poor intersection design? The circumstances of the amputation are merely unfortunate happenstance and any number of injuries could have occurred as a result of the roll-over regardless of whether she was seated correctly or not. Limb excursions are considered a risk in all vehicle design and it is the reason that the most vehicle crash test programs such as EuroNCAP, ANCAP etc have punitive modifiers for doors gapping after crashes.

      • 0 avatar
        pinkypie

        Maybe it was her husbands inattentiveness this time…But the outcome could easily be the same if it wasn’t. Some idiot running the red light and crashing into him…still her husbands fault?

      • 0 avatar
        nrd515

        I had a friend who used to drive barefooted, he rarely wore shoes at all, except in the Winter. He had an accident and cut his foot on something under the dash. Not too bad, but shoes would have prevented it. The doctor who sewed it up showed him a bunch of horrible pics of people who didn’t wear shoes and got some horrible injuries to their feet and ankles. The one that did it for him was a picture of a girl’s feet, one was ok, the other one was sliced almost in half from the brake pedal linkage. After that, he bought a bunch of really junky sneakers to drive in. Kind of funny, all that barefooted walking around from the age of about 6 to 25 really messed his feet up, they hurt all the time now. Kind of like my hands hurt pretty much all the time from years of working on cars, fighting with idiots when I was a bouncer, and holding onto a cold handrail at the drag races one time to the point I could barely use my hands for a day without moaning.

    • 0 avatar
      straightsix

      Maybe you should be working and not surfing the web on company time?

  • avatar
    chevysrock39

    I feel this it totally inappropriate in SO many ways, and it’s the last straw to get me off this website. Goodbye ttac.

  • avatar
    RobertRyan

    I know what you are trying to do with the “shock” photos, but I agree with the previous poster extremely inappropriate for this type of Blog.

    • 0 avatar
      joerb

      The first thing I did was get my daughter who does this same act. putting her feet on my dash. She’ll never do that again. I am gratefull for this post. It is related to car safety..next they need to show some idiot on their cell phone or texting with their head wrapped around a telephone pole.

  • avatar
    2kriss2kross

    This is thetruthaboutcars.com not rotten.com! While I have a strong mind and stomach, there are others who don’t. Please consider hiding the first picture on the home page and giving a strong warning instead or even removing the pictures altogether and keeping the story up. Thanks!

    • 0 avatar
      Wacko

      If you had such a strong stomach, you wouldn’t be crying about this,
      This is real life stuff.
      You have to understand that without the pictures the message will be forgotten. This kind of message does need the pictures to serve a a real warning of the dangers on feet on the dash. I been telling my girlfriend for years not to put her feet on the dash, with out her listening. Now I will pull my car to the side of the road and stop if she dosen’t listen.

    • 0 avatar
      Mandalorian

      The first picture doesn’t even look that real, it looks kind of like rubber guts. I thought the pictures were fine.

      • 0 avatar
        sgeffe

        That was also my thought.

        A guy I know in another department has his wife pick him up each evening from work, and every day, I see him drive past, wife in passenger seat, foot up on the dash, right on the airbag! This might give me incentive to say something!

  • avatar
    burgersandbeer

    While the subject matter is certainly appropriate for a car blog, including that picture before the jump is not. For some reason I found the picture of the toes worse than the remains of the foot.

    Almost as jarring to look at is the extra space after each period. For some inexplicable reason, this archaic convention is spreading on TTAC. I’m increasingly convinced that there is zero editing at this site.

    • 0 avatar

      You need to take a deep breath. Lots of people put two spaces after periods, exclamation points, and question marks (myself included – but you already noticed that). It’s how we were taught to type.

      I personally prefer it to a single space; it makes it easier to see where one sentence ends and the next begins.

      Incidentally, my car has a manual transmission and I like it that way – is that archaic too?

      • 0 avatar

        I see TTAC’s posting system deletes the extra space. Not a fan. :)

      • 0 avatar
        burgersandbeer

        Lots of people are wrong. This is not just my opinion. Reference any style guide to confirm if you want. Double spaces are a legacy of the typewriter.

        This was meant more as criticism of TTAC’s declining editorial standards, rather than of the author. What’s worse than an occasional article sneaking through with double spaces is the inconsistency. There are now two authors doing this, while the rest use single spaces. Is a quick find-and-replace to get everyone on the same page so much to ask?

      • 0 avatar
        burgersandbeer

        And yes, manual transmissions are archaic. They are still more fun though. I insist on them myself, so we agree there.

      • 0 avatar
        Sigivald

        “Incidentally, my car has a manual transmission and I like it that way – is that archaic too?”

        Okay, I’ll bite.

        Yes. It’s not 1925.

        • 0 avatar
          RHD

          200 bucks for a clutch (DIY) is better than 4000 for a replacement automatic transmission. If saving a ton of money is archaic, then call me old-fashioned!
          More cars go to the crusher because of automatic tranny problems than any other cause, other than collisions.

      • 0 avatar
        golden2husky

        Two spaces after periods is correct. One space is wrong. There really isn’t anything to discuss. Just like Beemer is wrong, Porsch is wrong…lots of people say/do things incorrectly and argue it is there statement and they can do as they choose. Yes, they can, and is still is incorrect….

      • 0 avatar
        bkmurph

        “Two spaces after periods is correct. One space is wrong. There really isn’t anything to discuss.”

        Except, golden2husky, that the only purpose of the second space was to make sentence breaks more visually identifiable in the age of typewriters and monospace typefaces. Now that we display text on computer screens using kerned characters of varying width, the second space is unnecessary. It’s fine to use the second space as a matter of personal preference, but continuing the practice is tradition for tradition’s sake.

    • 0 avatar
      Alexdi

      Agreed. This was dumb. The first picture was crude and unnecessary. The second picture might have been apropos, but it should have been a blurred rollover or an outside link.

      I don’t see where there are two spaces, but I’m with you on that too. Defying convention just for the sake of it is a Farago move I thought we were past.

      • 0 avatar
        burgersandbeer

        They jump out at me for some reason. I find that they break up the flow. If you want to confirm that I didn’t make this up, paste a couple sentences into notepad and you’ll see them.

    • 0 avatar
      jeoff

      One space after a period is for an abbreviation, two spaces afete a period is for the end of a sentence.

      • 0 avatar
        Sigivald

        Yeah, says “typing class circa 1950-1990″.

        Ask a designer or typographer sometime and they’ll tell you to *just stop that* double-space stuff. It isn’t helping.

    • 0 avatar
      racer-esq.

      Re two spaces:

      http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/technology/2011/01/space_invaders.html

      I still use them, but I’m trying to stop.

      • 0 avatar
        rpn453

        Good article. I thought two spaces was formally correct, and I had no idea that anyone really cared much either way. I’ll have to try to stop using two spaces myself, but I’m not sure it will ever happen. My thumb automatically hammers them out after a period, just as I was taught so many years ago in an old-fashioned typing class.

        I did manage to eliminate “The reason is . . . because . . .” from my vocabulary a few years ago after my girlfriend pointed out the redundancy. It wasn’t easy though. I’d argue with Mr. Manjoo that its usage is more of a blunder than double spaces!

  • avatar
    RS

    The people that deal with car accident tragedies every day can’t be thanked enough. I could never do it, but thankfully there are those that can.

    • 0 avatar
      rentonben

      The article probably will remind a lot of people of how deadly our cars are – for myself, I seem to need a reminder about every two years as I start to forget the potential consequences of driving and slide into bad and complacent habits.

      This article was that reminder.

      As for the people clutching at pearls, do you not have the ability to skip an article that would obviously ‘offend’ you. Is there something that forces you have to click, be ‘offended’ even more, and post?

  • avatar
    Ron B.

    I think the message and the delivery are spot on, if you do not feel comfortable in a car,catch the bus. Unfortunately there are those think that common sense is just phrase.
    http://www.3aw.com.au/blogs/3aw-generic-blog/young-men-will-ignore-parents-and-cops-but-they-listen-to-young-women/20121226-2bw4v.html

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DYOEmBI0VCc

    These are RHD cars,those are the drivers feet hanging out.

  • avatar
    Oelmotor

    Just goes to show how much commen sense will help you. Good article and safety first.

  • avatar
    Compaq Deskpro

    Pictures were effective at getting the point across, but I think you could use a spoiler button for the pictures, so we don’t gross out the pansies and wimps we unfortunately have to share the site with.

    • 0 avatar
      mcc.pj

      Indeed. For there is no greater measure of a man than his ability to gawp at human suffering from the comfort, safety, and security of his couch.

      Also, I’m sure this patient would be real happy to know that her permanent embarrassment and physical disability have earned the OP a couple hundred bucks on a freelance auto site. It isn’t just the pics that disgust me here.

      And that doesn’t even mention this: ‘Lesson: ladies keep your feet off of the dash, bad things can happen quickly.’ The misogyny here is beyond the pale. Yeah, it’s totally ‘Carol’s’ fault that ‘Bob’ wasn’t paying attention and crashed the damn car. This post makes the OP sound like a first-class dick and everything that people complain about when it comes to doctors.

      • 0 avatar
        Maymar

        Don’t forget, this is clearly a female-only trait, not something guys would ever, ever do. My father-in-law certainly never had to reprimand one of his male staff for driving a work van with a foot out the window.

      • 0 avatar
        Wacko

        MCC.PJ, who says that Carol and Bob are real names.
        Who says that carol wasn’t asked if this story can be told to the public to inform the public about the dangers of feet on dash..

        The only person that sounds like a world class dick is actually you mcc.pj

      • 0 avatar
        Alexdi

        That line surprised me too. Plenty of my dude friends put their feet on the dash.

      • 0 avatar
        Sigivald

        The post doesn’t say it’s her fault there was a crash – it says only that her putting her feet there *occasioned the distraction*. I’d say it’s far more the driver’s fault for *getting so distracted by the discussion*.

        If you think that’s “misogyny [...] beyond the pale”, God help you if you ever see *actual misogyny*.

        It does say that HER feet were on the dash, though. Which they were, assuming it’s not all a horrible sexist lie.

        (Contra alexdi, who I believe is telling the truth but has a very odd sample, I’ve seen lots of Other Cars on the road with the passenger’s feet on the dash.

        It’s over 90% female, for the dash-footers.

        I have no idea *why* this is so, but it is, in my observations.)

  • avatar
    MrWhopee

    Good thing I wasn’t having a meal. But the sad thing is, this is probably pretty tame compared to what the good Doctor regularly saw as the result of auto accidents. Ya’ll drive careful out there, you heah?

  • avatar
    mcc.pj

    Top tip: when your readers start asking for less sensationalism and more cars, ratcheting it up from politics to gross-out pics is probably not the smartest move. This is getting tragic. Signed, a decreasingly loyal reader.

  • avatar
    olddavid

    As a million-mile driver, I have had my share of accidents. The results remind me on a daily basis when rising. May I respectfully request that Sajeev, Steven, Murilee and Phil branch off into a site that plays to your talents.When I want raw news the Crane Family still does it the best. This sensationalism for its own sake was tasteless. I’m frankly baffled by your editorial direction of late.

  • avatar

    THANK YOU FOR THIS TTAC.

    Next time one of these girls tries to put her foot on the dashboard in my cars, I’m going to show her this and say:
    “This is what happens if the airbag deploys and your foot is there”.

    This ain’t no Hyundai Equus… Keep your feet on the floor!

    • 0 avatar
      DeeDub

      Well, it would be more accurate to warn her by saying, ““This is what happens if I stupidly turn into oncoming traffic and get us rolled while your foot is there”.

  • avatar

    I wouldn’t mind a post showing what happens to people who leave their arms and legs hanging outside the window.

    Did anyone see GRINDHOUSE: DEATH PROOF?

  • avatar

    Maybe a post of Nikki Catsouras next for a Vellum Venom Porsche review?

  • avatar
    jz78817

    I’ve never understood why women do this.

    • 0 avatar

      Women don’t see violence and danger the way men see it – we’ve evolved from thousands of years of hunting and gathering so we perceive danger better. That’s why women misread a man’s cues when they are saying something to a man which provokes him and Mr. Hand steadily turns into Mr. Fist.

      • 0 avatar
        Summicron

        “Mr. Hand steadily turns into Mr. Fist”

        Hopefully she’ll have Ms Glock.

      • 0 avatar

        Women are statistically less likely to use a gun for self defense then men are.

      • 0 avatar
        mcc.pj

        ‘That’s why women misread a man’s cues when they are saying something to a man which provokes him and Mr. Hand steadily turns into Mr. Fist.’

        Wow. Right. So a dude has no ability to control his impulse to assault a woman, and the onus is on her who uses words, instead of the guy who loses his shit and throws a punch at her face.

        That isn’t how I was raised, BigTruckSeries.

        Stay classy though.

      • 0 avatar
        rpn453

        “Wow. Right. So a dude has no ability to control his impulse to assault a woman, and the onus is on her who uses words, instead of the guy who loses his shit and throws a punch at her face.”

        I think he’s talking about feeling physically threatened by a woman. It’s never happened to me, but I can relate because I’ve hit plenty of males in such situations. If a woman had a knife or something, you might have to put her down.

  • avatar
    AJ

    Fortunately I already finished breakfast!

    Reminds me of driver’s ed and the lecture and slide show from a local LEO. I recall the pictures of a teenage girl who lost control of a small pickup on a snow covered road and was not wearing a seat belt. Or the picture of the guy and his car that crossed the center line and hit a semi head on.

    I’ve never forgotten those pictures… Proves that shock pictures do work… Thanks for the post TTAC.

  • avatar
    Rod Panhard

    Which nail salon? That’s quite a durable finish.

  • avatar

    Remember: All folks who voiced their outrage clicked on the “Read More” link first, despite the warning that there will be a much more shocking picture …

    They are not alone in that choice. This is currently TTAC’s most-read story, leading the runner-up 4:1. Comments reflect the opinion of commenters, not always that of the readers.

    Also, the folks who threaten to leave are usually the most loyal readers and prolific commenters. mcc.pj is a perfect example. Thank you for your business.

    • 0 avatar
      mcc.pj

      I don’t care if I get banned for this, Bertel–but you are being one of those kids who mistakes ‘any attention’ for ‘good attention’. I care about this site because I wrote reviews for it for a time. It’s losing its compass.

      • 0 avatar

        Remember: All folks who voiced their outrage clicked on the “Read More” link first, despite the warning that there will be a much more shocking picture …

      • 0 avatar
        TonyJZX

        I’m with Bertel on this one. Here were have a real doctor who is warning us about the risky activity of driving.

        Driving is most likely the biggest risk you do in your day.

        This is a wake up call to complacency.

        Be men. Steel yourself to the realities of automobile accidents.

    • 0 avatar
      Summicron

      It’s the gratuitous, unavoidable grossness of the first picture that shows your ilk.

    • 0 avatar
      mcc.pj

      ‘Also, the folks who threaten to leave are usually the most loyal readers and prolific commenters. mcc.pj is a perfect example. Thank you for your business.’

      Wow Bertel, disappointed that that’s how you’ve chosen to ‘make an example’ of someone who actually cares quite a lot about your site’s success, having something invested in its past. It seems particularly surreal for a site that routinely criticises organisations like GM for getting overly comfortable in their own echo chambers.

      I’m also disappointed that you’ve tacked that last paragraph edit onto your comment after deleting your previous more tolerant remarks, resigning those to revisionist history.

      I’ve been a regular on this site since the mid-2000s, under RF–who was passionate, undoubtedly OCD, and occasionally oTT, but managed to keep the editorial tone more or less under control. That tone has spiralled out of control lately, and I don’t think it does TTAC any favours to ignore long-time readers’ feedback. What’s your opinion of carmakers with similar business models? How are they doing?

      I’ll also call BS on your quote above, because look back at your truly Best and Brightest commenters over the last 12 months–I’ve noticed most of them are gone. Same thing happened to Autoblog a couple years back. You’re welcome for the business, but you’re resting on TTAC’s laurels.

      • 0 avatar
        Wacko

        MCC.PJ stop your whining and just leave already. We don’t need you here. Like I said this is the Truth About Cars, not The fluff About Cars.

        Go cry elsewhere like oprah’s blog or something. The men here are talking about men things, If you can’t handle it, go else where no ones stopping you. Grow some balls, or just go away, like you said you would.

        Now let the real men talk.

      • 0 avatar

        “I’ve been a regular on this site since the mid-2000s.”

        Interesting. According to our records, mcc.pj’s first contribution here was last September, on 2012/09/07 at 9:15 pm, to be exact. We appreciate them all, all 21 of them, half of them written last week.

        However, I must deny your attempt to influence TTAC’s choice of stories and pictures. Farago liked to say “if you want to do that, get your own blog.”

        As an alleged old-timer, you undoubtedly are aware of TTAC’s commenting policy. It says, in pertinent part:

        “No ‘what not to write’ requests: We appreciate suggestions of what to cover, we do not appreciate suggestions of what not to write and to ignore. The decision of what to select as TTAC content is solely that of TTAC editors.”

        Dr. Delaney promised this will be a series, and we will publish the pictures the doctor orders, even if they upset some stomachs and feelings.

        He and his colleagues see much worse every day. If we would have to watch that, we would be much more careful.

      • 0 avatar
        burgersandbeer

        “No ‘what not to write’ requests: We appreciate suggestions of what to cover, we do not appreciate suggestions of what not to write and to ignore. The decision of what to select as TTAC content is solely that of TTAC editors.”

        Bertel – why is it a policy to ignore critical feedback? You and the other editors have worked hard to cultivate a civil community with discussion that is typically well above what you find elsewhere on the internet. I would think you would value this community’s feedback.

        Are the article comments are not an appropriate venue for this? Is there another method where constructive criticism is acceptable?

    • 0 avatar
      Alexdi

      I’d wager a woman having sex with a horse would get you 15:1. A man, 25:1, if you can find one that flexible. So long as they’re all in a van or something, right?

      Some additional notes:

      * Folks click through for lots of reasons. To finish the article. To read the comments at the bottom. To contribute their own thoughts. If you’re assuming it’s just to see the other gross-out pictures, you’re mistaken.

      * You put a detached, decaying body part *inline on the main page* of a car blog! What were you thinking? Is this ‘hard-hitting content’ to you? If it’s so pivotal to the article (hint: it isn’t), all you have to do is blur it, or use an outside link, or a rollover, or any of a dozen other methods common on ‘respectable’ websites. Even Reddit folks obscure stuff like this. The stench of sensationalism and click-whoring leaves such a bad taste.

      It’s an interesting article and a promising start to a series. I have no idea why so you’re so personally invested in defending this small, but stupid decision. And alienating a coherent commentator? Does it matter when he showed up? Why would you do that?

    • 0 avatar

      Actually, I clicked on the Comments link to skip the article. Then I switched to another tab, because I am at work and wanted to be sure that nothing untoward would appear while the page rendered. So I am here, but I haven’t read the article.

      I am employed in a white-collar, casual software company but still need to be careful about gore-porn appearing on my screen.

      This is an important topic, but having a Severed Toe Surprise appear without any kind of NSFW/NSFL warning first is tacky at best.

      “But this is reality!” is a poor excuse. This is akin to a topless picture appearing without warning in a Dear Abby column about marital intimacy. Is that on-topic? OK. Over the top? That too.

      I’m sorry, I think the Severed Toe Surprise was a bad idea, a tasteless ambush. But I find the way you are openly mocking the posters who are discussing it to be even more disturbing. That’s not taking the high road.

    • 0 avatar
      sgeffe

      Bertel, this poster’s contribution is welcome. (See my post above, and let me express agreement for allowing a “series,” as you state below, that might help us think! I know I need a “refresher” every so often!)

  • avatar
    DJTragicMike

    What a bunch of ninnies. I’ll take this sort of thing over tiresome and polarizing union rants by Bertel any day.

  • avatar
    Eggshen2013

    Why is it always women with their feet on the dash? I don’t think I have ever seen a guy do it.

  • avatar
    Orangutan

    Jon Gabriel’s Internet Theory continues to be proven correct. The self-righteous horror at the story is laughable. Don’t want to read TTAC? Don’t. No need for the fanfare at your supposed departure. Just shut up and leave.

  • avatar
    Mathias

    No outrage here, but I would have appreciated a less graphic frontpage picture.

    But it was quite enough, thank you. I clicked “Comments” and waited a few seconds for the page to set up. This is America; EVERY problem has a technical solution.
    I don’t want to see the pictures, but I’m happy to have an article to link to for the next time the subject comes up while driving… which it might.

  • avatar
    -Nate

    100 % Apropriate anf spot on to boot .

    SAFTEY KNOWS NO SEASON .

    This is a sad but true reminder of how terrible a thing denial cab be .

    It figures the whiners andignorant PC crown has managed to make this anything but the poor Woman’s fault .

    Just like they don’t insist passengers wear seat belts if they complain enough .

    Be safe or don’t ride in my Vehicles , it’s very simple if you have a brain .

    Imagine this happening to your kids or lady…

    -Nate

  • avatar
    hreardon

    I’m surprised at all of the trumped up outrage over this piece. I don’t see anything sensationalist or scandalous in this post. If anything it’s a wakeup call to those who ride carelessly.

    The world ain’t a pretty place, kids – things like this, sadly, do happen with great frequency. It’s not a bad thing to remind people of their mortality, even if it may involve a little gore.

  • avatar
    cargogh

    “Hell, I can get you a toe by 3 o’clock this afternoon… with nail polish. These fucking amateurs… ”
    I squinted to blur and scrolled past the foot to the text. And I will be speaking to my niece about this.

  • avatar
    ttacgreg

    It speaks to a basic human tendency to deny to reality. There are those who don’t want to face it.
    These pictures don’t really gross me out. The do fill me with compassion and sympathy for the unfortunate woman.

  • avatar
    ZoomZoom

    I too think the outrage is trumped up. WAY TRUMPED UP! You can’t tell me that you people can go see horror movies but you can’t handle a few pictures? I call bullshit on the lot of you!

    The warning was there, and it was serious! I will admit that I took the disclaimer seriously and hit the “comments” button, skipping over the jump (although I would have liked to have read the text).

    You complainers are like the rubberneckers looking at a terrible accident. You couldn’t control yourselves, so you craned your necks. Then you saw the horror and now you’re mad. But you have to take your anger out on somebody. Anybody.

    I have at least some vague idea of what the force of a collision can do to a soft, deformable, and even “rippable” human body, what with a compressing or rupturing cabin, smashing glass, deploying airbags, and so forth. I don’t need the pictures, but I think others do. I think those who looked probably NEEDED to see the pictures.

    And if you’re the rubbernecking type, well; so be it. You can take this and “huff off” with your miffed goodbyes to TTAC, or you can make something good of it. Maybe you’ll carry these visuals with you and maybe you’ll tell people about it, and maybe your horror will help save somebody’s life and limb someday.

    It’s about damned time somebody got serious about stupid people doing stupid things while driving or riding in 2-ton or 4-ton moving vehicles. I applaud TTAC! I also thank you for the seriously worded warning.

    • 0 avatar
      sgeffe

      Next up: smartphone impaled into someone’s sternum by a deploying airbag?!

      Whatever it takes! (Well, minus government intervention!! Maybe a PSA IS better than some goofy law!)

  • avatar
    bunkie

    While disturbing, cautionary tales are important.

    By way of coincidence, this morning I’m missing my left thumbnail, have a broken bone and a bunch of stitches for one of those “I didn’t listen to the voice inside my head” moments when the drill I was using last night suddenly jumped out of the workpiece and the forstner bit made mincemeat out of my digit. My mistake was not setting up my drill press, choosing to use my cordless drill instead.

    It was completely avoidable. Luckily I’ll heal completely in time. My thumb is a mess and I’ll be sure to think of it each time I’m down in the shop from now on. And that’s the point. Dismissing the possible consequences is just plain stupid. And boy, do I feel stupid this morning.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    It’s a foot fetish thing and some chicks love to show off their wares and $20 pedicures to all other drivers and truckers especially… No class.

  • avatar
    jeoff

    If this was a gross-out pic,just for the sake of grossing people out –I would be upset. But, I have to ask (can’t *tell* he anything) my wife all of the time to move her feet from the dash. Sometimes she puts her feet down. Sometimes she just says, “Don’t get in an accident.” Anyway, she will be getting this one in her email.

  • avatar
    vvk

    Don’t ride in tall SUVs.

    Thank you for the warning.

  • avatar
    mikey

    Disgusting!…Bare feet on the dash? Never in my vehicle. I take great pride to insure my interior is spotless. I don’t even like finger prints

    The photos? Bertels choice of photos are always…..hmmmm? Interesting. These photos? While not Bertels usual subjects,certainly makes a case for keeping your feet off the dash, eh?

  • avatar
    thesal

    Spot on guys, sometimes people need to see a solid anecdote to get the point. I’ve had a few girlfriends (yes, really, I know…) who tried doing this when driving with me on a warm summer day. I’d have none of it, but they always put their feet back on the floor witha “hmmpphh, what a prude” attitude. I wish I could send them all this article.

    Ps. For everyone who thought this was a horrible move on TTAC’s part, please refer to this video:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=unkIVvjZc9Y

    Kind Regards and Salutations

  • avatar
    Thomas Kreutzer

    The average person, myself included, really don’t understand the explosive power of an airbag. I’ve seen enough slow motion films to know hoe they unfold, and enough regular speed ones to know they deploy quickly, but until one explodes in my face I doubt I will ever really understand in a meaningful way. If they were called “explosive crash curtains” or something else, people might be more cautious around them.

    Lest we miss the message above – or chalk it up to as a one of a kind horror story about some dummy who shouldn’t have had her foot on the dash – I have heard stories of people who have severed their own fingers and hands because of how they gripped the steering wheel; resting their hands on the inside of the wheel or on the spokes rather than gripping the wheel from the outside.

    Kind of nice to know we all drive around with a bomb 10 inches under our nose, isn’t it?

    • 0 avatar
      sgeffe

      Would actually welcome the opportunity to sit in the driver’s seat a “junked” vehicle and have the airbag remotely deployed (while wearing long work gloves, earplugs, a bike helmet, and some sort of goggles), just to see what it’s like. (I always hope I have the presence of mind to let go of the wheel and cover my ears anyway, if a collision is unavoidable.)

      As far as where to grab the wheel, I’ve read someplace that “9-and-3,” not “10-and-2″ is best, in order to have less exposure to the vents. That might vary by make, however.

      • 0 avatar
        nrd515

        The best I can describe it is like being punched in the face with a very quick shot of fire right behind it. Just enough heat to cause some minor burns, and enough punch to break eyeglass frames. I’ve been in a few really big fights and any of the punches I got in them was worse than the airbag. Not to say I would want to do the airbag experience again!

        My main problems from it going off was a bad bruise on my left forearm and the knuckle of my left ring finger hit something and it swelled up to about twice normal size. It wasn’t broken, but it was useless for about 4 days until the swelling went down.

        My legs took the real hit though. It’s been 10 years, no broken bones, just a huge amount of bruising, and they’ve never really been the same.

  • avatar
    Pan

    A dose of REALITY never hurt anyone, and may help many. A foot on the dashboard in an accident could easily result in a leg shoved up the thorax and be unrepaireable. If people saw what first responders see every day on the streets and highways the accident rate might go down.

  • avatar
    schmitt trigger

    It used to be far worse, in the days prior to mandatory seat belts and collapsible steering wheels. Horrendous impailment were the result.

  • avatar
    schmitt trigger

    “The end result of an accident is never pretty”

    That is correct.
    I attended a defensive driving course once. The instructor warned us about some graphic images. After all these years, remembering them still makes my stomach twitch. But it made me a believer of wearing seat belts.

  • avatar
    johnny ringo

    To all the morons whinning about the photographs: Grow up. I do a fair amount of highway driving and I frequently see front seat passengers with either their feet up on the dashboard or hanging out the front window. Thanks for showing what can happen as a result.

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    This was informative, although my morning oatmeal isn’t sitting as well now.

    Dr. Delaney, any real life stories of what happens when the air bag deploys while holding a Shi-Tzu in your lap? If you have one, please write a similar article and get it printed on the front page of the New York Times and Reader’s Digest. That nonsense needs to stop.

  • avatar
    rudiger

    Gross? Check. Effective? Check.

    My aversion to driving down the highway and seeing someone with their feet on the dash used to be primarily limited to the simple lack of taste of the act. I really don’t want to see any woman’s feet while driving, no matter how beautiful they might think they are. But, now, there’s a legitimate safety reason to keep them down.

    A quick remedy would be to print out and tape those photos to the dash in front of a passenger who had the predilection of placing their feet on the dash.

  • avatar
    Verbal

    So when are Bob and Carol getting divorced?

  • avatar
    gearhead77

    An absolutely disgusting reminder of how stupid we can be. Yeah, the pics grossed me out, so I didn’t linger too long on them. Just long enough for the reminder of how fragile we are and how stupid we are to let comfort affect our safety.

    I wonder how often this happens because I see it a lot especially during vacation time. I’ve always thought about this when I see people with their feet on the dash, especially due to the airbags. I never thought about the physics of the forward momentum AND the airbags.

    Does the good doctor have anything to say about people who sit too close to the steering wheel ( mainly smaller stature women) or people who drive with animals in their laps or unrestrained in the car?

  • avatar
    gaspassoregon

    I do/have done trauma for over 15 years. the lead pic is a bit over the top. I do believe it would be better to lead with a more generic pic. Use the jump to even more macabre pix, fine. If you are really trying to be artful, a clip of the painted toenail alone would suffice to intrigue. Don’t take away from a well written and useful story with distraction like this, please.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    It’s stuff like this that keeps me coming back. There’s plenty of other blogs specifically for nerds and dweebs to argue stats and fractions so don’t let the door hit cha where the good Lord split ya..

    This article just breeds awareness, but on a side note (and the trauma surgeon may agree), when you can no long stay on or hold the road, do whatever you can to avoid trees or other solid objects that won’t flinch. I lost a good friend after he jumped the curb in his Silverado and that hit an old oak tree at around 35 mph right in the downtown. The air bags deployed, but the truck looked like it was shredded by a freight train. He died on impact even though the truck only glanced off tree from the passenger side.

  • avatar
    icemilkcoffee

    Have you people ever watched a horror movie made in the, say, last 30 years? If so, you should have no problem looking at a chopped off grown-up foot. I don’t get all the faux-outrage.

  • avatar
    Sinistermisterman

    I’ve got no problem with the article, but the photos really did turn my stomach. My McMuffin will now sit wrapped up and uneaten on my desk. Ugh.

  • avatar
    HiFlite999

    +1 on the article. Any reminder that cars are more dangerous than Play-Skool toys is going to get push back here. I’ve lived long enough to hear the girly-whines from “real men” after every new safety feature was introduced. News flash: real men do their best to protect their passengers from harm. Thanks for helping us do just that.

  • avatar
    360joules

    Automotive safety is a missing element from auto journalism. I liked the story but agree with sentiments re: starting with a more generic picture before the jump. The worst thing I see in emergency medicine? [warning, may cause you to REALLY lose your appetite] Some family member lets their toddler crawl around the floor of a trauma/resuscitation bay, then the toddler sits up & inserts a hand into its mouth.

  • avatar
    kenzter

    Feet on the dash has always been one of my pet peeves. No one does it in my car, and I cringe when I see others doing it. Respect the damn airbag.
    That said, I have a very weak stomach for graphic images. With all the zombie crap these days, I assumed the toes were fake. Then I read the warning from Bertel and knew to scroll quickly past any images that followed.
    Thank you to the good Dr. for sharing, and thank you to Bertel for the warning.

  • avatar
    prabal34

    So much for reading this site on my lunch break. Totally lost my appetite and I doubt subway gives refunds for returned uneaten sandwiches.

    I get why you would want to raise awareness, I just would’ve appreciated being able to read this site whilst eating food.

  • avatar
    JimothyLite

    Oof, Bertel… but thanks. Got me thinking about some bad-passenger habits I’ve allowed in the car while taxiing the kids around. My sixth grader weighs less than 60 pounds but likes to sit in the passenger seat in order to control the radio, blast the AC, and feel superior to her older, heavier brothers. Talk about parenting jackassery. As of this morning she was in the back seat again.

    Right now in socal, our public service reminder on car-seat safety consists of billboards featuring Disney’s Cinderella fondling a glass slipper with the caption “The Right Fit,” followed by some boilerplate safety info. Now something like the shattered-toe picture with the words “Look, Dad! No More Pedicures!” might turn some heads.

  • avatar
    tuckerdawg

    thank you for this image, it will be promptly laminated and placed on my dash lol!

  • avatar
    old fart

    Sometimes people need to be shocked to “listen up” I have no problems w/the pics, but would agree for the faint of heart folks put all “those kind of pics” after the jump. I didn’t realize this could happen as it’s always nice to see a great pair of legs stretched out but no more of that .

  • avatar
    sketch447

    I am forced to agree with a few others here on the inappropriateness of those photos. To re-state another poster, this is NOT rotten.com. True journalists use words in lieu of pictures, especially crass and shocking pictures. The fact that the severed toes were freshly painted with bright nail polish made it all the more shocking……

    Just because one CAN post a photo doesn’t mean one should. Words can make one think. Pictures like that only make one recoil in disgust.

    • 0 avatar
      Wacko

      Just as one can Bitch and complain about it, doesn’t mean one should, but that didn’t stop you.

      Pictures on rotten are only there for the shock value.
      Here it it used to educate people, and actually show what can happen.

  • avatar

    It never ceases to amaze me that, as long as airbags have been around, no one pays any mind to that zone on the dashboard that reads “AIRBAG”.

    In capital letters.

  • avatar
    Beerboy12

    I applaud TTAC for doing what it takes to raise awareness of this safety issue.
    BTW don’t most air bag systems for the passenger seat have a manual override where you can switch them off? It’s for rear facing baby seats that go on the front seat because those will kill a baby.

    • 0 avatar
      corntrollio

      I think only 2-seaters (or perhaps 3-seaters, like pickups, with only a front bench) have a manual override for the passenger airbag.

      However, any car with a backseat that faces forward generally does not have a manual override. It may have an automatic override based on the weight-sensors, but that’s not fully effective because there are car seats that weigh up to 33 pounds by themselves.

      I know that certain dogs weigh enough to trigger the weight sensor. A 50 lb dog sitting squarely on the seat sensor will generally activate it, whereas if the dog is slightly askew on the seat, the airbag may deactivate. Based on that standard, you only need a 17 lb kid with a 33 lb car seat.

      I thought I remember reading about a car seat sold by a car manufacturer that could automatically disable the passenger airbag in that manufacturer’s cars, but that seems like a lot of liability to me.

  • avatar
    tp33

    Important safety lesson? Sure. For my niece. Need for said lesson on a site full of gear heads? Doubtful. Tact/taste for putting that picture, unedited, on the main page? None whatsoever.

  • avatar
    ajla

    My cars don’t have airbags.

  • avatar
    ihatetrees

    While a definite safety improvement, airbags can be a hazard for those not properly seated and belted. It wasn’t too many years ago that non-belted kids were getting decapitated because the parent considered the airbag a magic puffy rainbow of goodness.

    Of course, given the lawsuits from THOSE cases, this gal’s damaged foot could be a rainmaker. She should call a lawyer and some media/PR people. Maybe Brian Ross could breathlessly ask, “Why DON’T airbags have smart sensors for detection of foot on the dash.”

    • 0 avatar
      corntrollio

      “While a definite safety improvement, airbags can be a hazard for those not properly seated and belted.”

      Yeah, so can flying head-first into a dashboard or windshield.

      “It wasn’t too many years ago that non-belted kids were getting decapitated”

      I seem to remember one lone story about this in the mid-90s, but that one kid was in a front-facing car seat that was not secured to the passenger seat. Of course the car seat went flying at impact because it wasn’t anchored.

  • avatar
    Boff

    I’ve got a strong stomach and a private office so I’m not personally put out by the pic before the jump. But I can see how others might be upset. I think the pics could have been handled more sensitively, out of respect for the diverse readership out there. But this is the new media where boundaries will be crossed on occasion. This is one of those times. It would be silly to bail on a site you enjoy just because of this lapse, though.

    BTW those pics have nothing on chronic wounds which are the most stomach churning IMO.

  • avatar
    mazder3

    Poor Bob and Carol. How did Ted and Alice take it?

  • avatar
    Secret Hi5

    My toes curled, literally, as I read this article.

    Sadly, it’s not only women. I have seen men prop their feet on windows-down sill!

  • avatar
    Dr. Michael Delaney

    I appreciate all of the comments. A few clarifications are in order. I did not get paid to write this and will never ask to get paid. This was a “public service announcement.” Names, including my own, have been changed. Whatever it takes to decrease the carnage on your roads, I am willing to do. I am very grateful to Bertel for his willingness to publish my article. Yes the photos are graphic, but nothing like what is on prime time TV.

    • 0 avatar
      56BelAire

      Thanks Doc, I appreciate the article and the message. I would like a similar article of some carnage as a result of texting-while-driving.

      As an insurance adjuster back in the 60s I saw worse. Once while looking at a car in the police impound, I found a shoe…..with the foot still in the shoe.

    • 0 avatar

      Thank you for the article. I actually learn something new here & I look forward to reading more of your writings. Those pictures are worth thousand words.

  • avatar
    shifterbrains

    THANK YOU!
    THANK YOU!
    THANK YOU!

    I’ve been trying to get this pet peeve of mine to get some attention for ages and am now able to show the graphic outcome of this to my wife who loves to defy me on this (and plenty of other things). I always imagined a head on collision where the airbags blow and cause the poor sucker’s knee caps to get smacked into their forehead as they get folded over like a pretzel.

    We’ve got a loud mouth journalist (Kenzie) here in Toronto who I wish would finally drop his tirade against fog lights take this up in the mainstream media.

    btw, how the conversation ended up getting on to one space or two after a period is remarkable.

    Thanks Doc.

  • avatar

    Learned something. Effective Article. There will never be a foot on my dash, ever again.

  • avatar
    danwat1234

    Thank you for this article. Very good to know! I can only imagine what would have happened if the passenger airbag went off too!
    Luckily modern cars have sophisticated ‘Occupant Classification Systems’ that detect how much you weigh, how you are seated, distance between hips to determine body composition, etc.

  • avatar
    bugmen0t

    How DID we live before the “Age of fear” and the fear mongering.

    I guess today fear = intelligence LOL


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