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Woman with feet on dashboard

Why You Shouldn’t Cross Your Legs in a Car

If you’ve ever been on an extended road trip, you may have felt the urge to put one leg over the other or even put your feet up on the dashboard. While putting your feet on the dash is obviously dangerous and distracting, you might not realize that even crossing your legs can lead to serious injury. To help you avoid injury in a potential crash, we’ve need to explore two reasons why you shouldn’t cross your legs in the car.

Dashboard Knee

Even with your feet on the ground, most crashes have some risk of “dashboard knee,” an injury where your knee hits the dashboard or glovebox at high speed. This can cause the ligament between your knee to be strained, sprained, or even torn. Not only is this very painful, but severe cases may require knee surgery or knee replacement.

While dashboard knee can happen in any crash, the risk is significantly increased when you cross your legs because your knees are higher and closer to the dashboard. Additionally, crossing your legs is connected with a higher overall risk of injuries in a crash and dramatically increases the risk of pelvic injuries.


When an airbag deploys in a severe crash, passengers are less likely to experience dashboard knee but are far more likely to suffer more severe injuries. That’s because airbags deploy with the energy of a small explosion. When the force of a deploying airbag hits your knee, it can cause catastrophic injuries.

A deploying airbag will force your body backward. If your legs are crossed or on the dash, your entire leg will be forced backward. In some cases, this can lead to the hip joint being dislocated or even pelvic fractures.

It’s better to be safe than sorry. Next time you find yourself crossing your legs in the passenger seat, take a moment to reconsider. Cars are designed to protect you, but only if you are seated correctly. That means you’re facing forward, with your seat belt on, and both legs on the floor.

To schedule a free consultation with an experienced Virginia car accident attorney from Portner & Shure, P.A., don’t hesitate to call (855) 954-4141 or send us an email.