Why You Should Never Put Your Feet on the Dashboard

One of the fastest slapshots in hockey was clocked at 175 km/h, at the 2020 AHL All-Star Weekend. Good thing then, that hockey players wear pads and helmets to protect themselves from such projectiles. Now, can you imagine getting hit by something clocking in at nearly twice that speed? Believe it or not, most airbags explode – or “deploy”, if you prefer – at a velocity of up to 322 km/h.

Airbags are standard safety equipment in modern vehicles. They deploy in a split second to cushion your head and body in case of a collision. And they work as intended – provided you’re seated correctly. Putting your feet on the dashboard may be comfortable, but that won’t help an airbag protect your life – it may even endanger it.

Safety equipment can’t be dangerous, can it?
“Although airbags are part of the vehicle’s overall safety system, they deploy with significant force, and may be triggered even in a minor collision,” said Lee Alderson, Senior Issues Advisor at the Ontario Ministry of Transportation.

“Drivers and passengers who put their feet on the dashboard while the vehicle is in operation expose themselves to potentially very serious injuries, especially if the airbags should deploy,” said Alderson.

Family of first person in immigration custody to die from COVID-19 files wrongful death lawsuit

The family of Carlos Ernesto Escobar Mejia, who died in immigration custody after contracting the coronavirus during an outbreak at Otay Mesa Detention Center, has sued the federal government as well as the private prison company in charge of the facility.

Escobar Mejia was the first person to die in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement because of COVID-19. Eight in total have died from the virus since the pandemic began.

The lawsuit, filed in the Southern District of California by Escobar Mejia’s three siblings, alleges negligence, deliberate indifference to serious health and safety needs and wrongful death.

The complaint argues that officials held Escobar Mejia in conditions that they “knew would expose him to a deadly disease.”

“CoreCivic deprived him of adequate personal protective equipment, proper social distance, and appropriate treatment, all with the knowledge and participation of ICE and its officials,” the complaint says. “His death did not have to happen.”

ICE, the agency responsible for immigration detention, and CoreCivic, the private prison company that owns and operates Otay Mesa Detention Center, said that they do not comment on pending litigation.

CoreCivic referred back to its statement at the time of Escobar Mejia’s death.

“We extend our heartfelt sympathy to this individual’s loved ones,” the company said at the time.

Both ICE and CoreCivic have defended themselves against criticism from detainees, attorneys and even some CoreCivic staff about their handling of an outbreak at the facility in the spring that infected more than 200 detainees and inmates and left Escobar Mejia dead. They’ve said that they followed guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention throughout the pandemic.

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