On August 2, 2015, Audra Tatum's life completely changed after a vehicle pulled in front of the car and T-boned her. While everyone else involved in the accident was able to walk away relatively unscathed, the mother of three was not so lucky.
“The airbag went off, throwing my foot up and breaking my nose,” she said. “I was looking at the bottom of my foot facing up at me.”
Tatum said that putting her feet on the dash had been a lifelong habit, despite warnings from her husband that this exact thing could one day happen to her. She always told him that she'd be able to put her feet down in time, but after actually enduring this scenario, she learned how wrong she was.
“Basically my whole right side was broken, and it's simply because of my ignorance," she said. "I'm not Superman."
After multiple surgeries and weeks of physical therapy, it still took Tatum over a month to walk again. More than two years after the accident, her life still has not returned to normal.
“I can't do my career as an EMS. I can't lift patients anymore,” she said. “I can't stand more than 4 hours at a time. Once I'm at that 4-hour mark, I'm in tears."
Despite her pain, Tatum is spreading the word about the dangers of this common habit. She told her story to the Chattanooga, Tennessee Fire Department, which shared it with its Facebook followers.
"Airbags deploy between 100 & 220 MPH. If you ride with your feet on the dash and you're involved in an accident, the airbag may send your knees through your eye sockets," the fire department said in a separate post.
Still, despite the airbag's impact, Tatum believes her accident would’ve been worse without one.
“It could have done so much more damage," she said. "It did make it break my nose, but I could've hit the dash a whole lot harder without that airbag.”
Tatum has started a GoFundMe to help her continue to spread the word. If you're interested in donating to her campaign, you can see it here.
This article originally appeared on Men's Health