Putting your feet up on the car’s dash­board is ex­tremely dan­ger­ous

Lodi News-Sentinel - - LOCAL / WORLD - AN­NIE LANE “Ask Me Any­thing: A Year of Ad­vice From Dear An­nie” is out now! An­nie Lane’s de­but book — fea­tur­ing fa­vorite col­umns on love, friend­ship, fam­ily and eti­quette — is avail­able as a pa­per­back and e-book. Visit http://www.cre­ator­spub­lish­ing.com for



Every day,

I see kids in the front pas­sen­ger seat with their feet on the dash­board.

This is in­cred­i­bly dan­ger­ous. In a low-im­pact crash that does not sig­nal air bag de­ploy­ment, this body po­si­tion has moved the seat belt, as­sum­ing it’s be­ing used, off the waist and onto the ab­domen, and near the throat. Worse, though, is the knees are in com­pletely the wrong ori­en­ta­tion to flex and move with the force of the crash.

Air bags de­ploy be­gin­ning with mod­er­ate crashes, de­fined as hit­ting a parked car at about 20 mph. In other words, al­most every crash de­ploys the air bags. An air bag de­ploy­ing di­rectly un­der the feet can lead to dev­as­tat­ing, life-al­ter­ing in­juries to the feet, an­kles, knees, hip and ten­dons.

An air bag sys­tem must de­tect a crash of enough force and then fully de­ploy the air bags in less than 80 mil­lisec­onds, which is less than one-tenth of one sec­ond. The fun­da­men­tal point is for the head and torso to con­tact a fully de­ployed air bag (now an air pil­low). Con­tact with the sur­face of an air bag that is still ex­pand­ing at great speed re­sults in fa­cial in­juries, as well as pos­si­ble up­per torso in­juries.

In fact, on im­pact, the air bag is al­ready de­flat­ing. This is why air bags are in no way an ex­cuse to not wear seat belts, which slow your body’s for­ward mo­tion un­til the air bag is fully in­flated. — Con­cerned Driver

Dear Con­cerned Driver: Not only is putting your feet on the dash­board in­cred­i­bly dan­ger­ous, as your let­ter points out, it’s also unattrac­tive and bad man­ners. It is on the same level of rude­ness with putting your feet on the ta­ble. Yuck.

Dear An­nie: Your ad­vice to the woman whose sis­ter did not want to quit smok­ing won’t work. Qui­etly look­ing into al­ter­na­tives to quit smok­ing is like giv­ing di­ets to an over­weight friend. You lose the weight when YOU de­cide to, and you quit the smokes the same way.

As a for­merly over­weight smoker who lost the weight eight years ago, and quit smok­ing 25 years ago, I knew I needed to do these things long be­fore I ac­tu­ally did them. The sis­ter doesn’t need re­minders to quit, in­for­ma­tion on how or scold­ing. She knows she should quit. All her sis­ter can re­ally do is ask her not to smoke in her pres­ence.

This is one of those jour­neys each per­son starts on their own. The time for sup­port is after the jour­ney begins. Good luck to them both! — For­mer Smoker

Dear For­mer Smoker:

I am print­ing your let­ter for its per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ence and great points. With any ad­dic­tion, the ad­dict has to want to stop on their own. Once they make that com­mit­ment, you can of­fer a ton of sup­port.

Dear An­nie: This is re­gard­ing the let­ters about get­ting teenagers to brush their teeth. I’ve found that peer pres­sure is just about all that works with teens. If pos­si­ble, en­list an­other teen to let them know how bad their breath smells when they don’t brush — or how un­pop­u­lar they will be ro­man­ti­cally with bad breath and rot­ten teeth. These kids are us­ing not brush­ing as a way to main­tain con­trol. They want to watch the adults in their lives dance. The only thing that will work with them is if their friends step in with an “EWW!” Been there. — Savvy Grandma

Dear Savvy Grandma: You are prob­a­bly cor­rect that peer pres­sure will be the most ef­fec­tive way to get these teens to brush their teeth. Thanks for writ­ing.

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