Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

50+: Live Better, Longer

Font Size

When It Comes to Feet, Cars 'Auto' Be Redesigned


U.S. podiatrist Sutpal Singh, DPM, of Apple Valley and Barstow, Calif., says he sees accident-related foot, ankle, and leg injuries at least a couple times a year.

Though the German researchers conclude that the actual structure of the automobile's foot compartment is not stable enough to protect feet in an accident, Singh has a different impression of what causes the injury. Here's how it can happen, he says:

"You are driving straight ahead and slam on the breaks, and all the pressure is on your foot because your leg and knee are extended," he says. "Your foot is on the ground and the impact of the front of the car and the end of the other car compresses on your foot and ankle, potentially resulting in a compression fracture or a dislocation," he says.

"Imagine taking your fist and hitting against the wall. That's what you are doing essentially," he says.

"Once they have a severe ankle fracture, they usually have pain for quite a long time," Singh tells WebMD. "If the cartilage is damaged, they will develop arthritis, but if it's a minor fracture, then they usually do pretty well."

Cary M. Golub, DPM, a podiatrist in private practice in Long Beach, N.Y., agrees with Singh. "Injury to the foot is caused when you try to brace yourself by pressing your foot into the brake as impact occurs, " he says. "It can occur to a passenger when their foot compresses against the floor as they brace themselves in an accident."

In the new study, foot and ankle injuries among drivers and front seat passengers were similar. Richter writes, "the pedals, steering wheel, or asymmetric design of the dashboard do not influence the injury incidence, mechanism, or severity." Rather the abrupt change in velocity and "the extent of foot compartment [damage] correlated with the [extent of injury]."

"These injuries are sudden and painful and can result in dislocation between two parts of the foot and may need surgery," Golub says.

"Ankle fractures are very common because as you are bracing yourself, the retrograde force of the foot against the pedal or brake causes impact at the ankle joints," he says.

Today on WebMD

Eating for a longer, healthier life.
woman biking
How to stay vital in your 50s and beyond.
womans finger tied with string
Learn how we remember, and why we forget.
man reviewing building plans
Do you know how to stay healthy as you age?
fast healthy snack ideas
how healthy is your mouth
dog on couch
doctor holding syringe
champagne toast
Two women wearing white leotards back to back
Man feeding woman
two senior women laughing