The airbag that deserves more than just a little distance and respect is the passenger side front dash airbag. From the picture below, does it look safe to rest your feet on the dash? Absolutely not! The airbag in the image below would likely fold the occupant in half and cause extensive injuries to them.
The passenger front airbag is one of the largest airbags in a vehicle. Sure, some vehicles have airbags that are longer like side curtain airbags, but the passenger side dash airbag has a greater space to fill compared to other airbags. For example, the driver side front airbag is located on the steering wheel. Take a look at almost any vehicle and the steering wheel is typically a foot closer to the occupant the passenger side dash.
Occupants need to understand where the passenger side dash airbag is located. This airbag is typically designed to deploy from a module mounted to the dash structure but hidden by thin plastic or foam type of material. Never assume that if you locate an airbag marketing label that is the location of the airbag and the deploy zone. Airbag marketing labels are used by the automakers to advertise hidden safety systems in a vehicle. In the picture to the left, an occupant could make an assumption that to the left of the “Airbag” marking it is safe to rest their feet there. THAT IS NOT TRUE!! The image to the right, shows an airbag module that is in a typically location in the dash.
The video below demonstrates what could happen when an occupant places their feet on the passenger dash and the vehicle is involed in an accident that resulted in airbag deployment.
The video below describes what happened to one occupant in a real life accident.
And one last look at the passenger side dash airbag.