I saw this while driving down the road recently. A person just tooling down a major road with their foot hanging out the window.
What possesses people do drive with their feet out the window? I see it every once in a while from both drivers and passengers. This time my daughter just happened to be in the car with me so she could catch this picture.
I did a quick search of the internet and of the medical literature and wasn’t able to find any specific literature on the potential downsides from driving like this.
I was, however, able to find other pictures/posts/comments …
calling a driver doing this a “jackass,”
noting that the practice was awkward and potentially dangerous,
stating that a person driving in this manner is “white trash skank,”
stating that driving this way is illegal in Delaware,
noting that a driver in Australia who was pictured with both feet out a window had been charged with “reckless conduct endangering life, failure to have proper control of a vehicle, careless driving, and limbs protruding from a vehicle,” and
a comment noting that the practice was something worthy of circus people.
So if driving with your feet out the window doesn’t hurt anyone and it feels nice to have a breeze blowing on your bare feet while traveling at 50 MPH, then why shouldn’t we do it?
Here are some of my thoughts.
First, you look like a freak when you drive with your foot out the window. It isn’t cool. It isn’t funny. It looks low class and smarmy. Yes I’m old and out of touch with the younger generation. You still look like a smarmy whippersnapper when you drive with your foot out the window.
Next, when you drive with your foot out the window, your foot and/or leg is blocking your view of the driver’s mirror. That makes you less able to see your surroundings and more prone to getting into an accident.
With your leg in that position, you are probably less able to shift your body to turn and look in your blind spot when changing lanes or making a turn. That makes you more likely to hit a vehicle approaching you on your driver’s side.
Finally, pretend for a moment that you get into an accident with your foot hanging out the window. Think of what will happen to your body …
If you rear-end someone and your air bag deploys, momentum will carry your body forward while the airbag forces your hanging leg into flexion and external rotation. Ever popped a chicken leg off a cooked chicken?
Your knee will probably hyperextend as well, so you’ll be in a position where you’ll potentially have no knee ligaments and no hip joint.
The anterior force on your driving leg combined with the posterior force on your leg out the window will cause a shearing force on your pelvis which may be enough to snap your pelvis like a pretzel. Pelvis fractures are potentially life threatening, tough to rehab, and carry multiple serious complications.
If you’re involved in a rollover accident, it’s even worse. You won’t have time to pull your foot back in the vehicle and the edge of the window will hold your foot in place as the several tons of car rolls on top of it, mangling your foot if you’re lucky and just ripping it from your leg if you’re not so lucky. If the roof collapses from the rollover impact, then your knee and lower leg will get caught up in the mangled metal – which may prevent you from getting out of the car.
Look at the bright side, though. If you survive a serious accident with your leg hanging out the window, at least they have a lot of advanced leg prosthetics you can choose from.
Anyone got any stories about trauma from drivers or passengers with their feet out the windows?