TikTok's Road Trip Car Seat Recline Hack Has One Major Drawback

Scrolling on TikTok usually brings about mindless entertainment. But every once in a while, you can uncover an ingenious trick to make day-to-day life easier. The latter can be extremely useful, but something that we have to remember is that not all TikTok users are professionals or qualified to give advice. In fact, most of them are not.

Recently, a road trip hack went viral that users should think twice about. This TikTok, by user @lisahersh88, showed viewers that they can turn their front seat into a full-on bed by using the car's recline feature. The video suggests you take off the headrest and send the front seat all the way supine so that the flat edge of the seatback aligns with the bottom of the backseat. 

The video reached over 3.5 million users and got over 600 thousand likes. While the TikTok audience clearly found it to be a helpful tip, the one major drawback that many viewers might not be aware of is that fashioning a bed in this way can be extremely dangerous. This hack is all fine and dandy if the car is parked. But, if you're in motion, we highly discourage you from trying it out.

Why this hack is unsafe

While the idea of sprawling out and sleeping on a mobile bed may sound appealing, it hampers your capacity to wear a seatbelt, which is the most effective measure you can take to protect yourself in the event of a crash. And even if you click the seatbelt in while you lie down, it's only effective when both the lap and shoulder belts are securely fastened against the pelvis and rib cage. Lying flat in the seat hinders your ability to properly wear a seat belt, directly compromising your safety.

In the U.S., road traffic crashes are the most prominent cause of death in individuals under the age of 54. When your seat is reclined, regardless of whether you are wearing a seat belt or not, the risks of injury during a crash skyrocket. Your body may slide forward underneath the seat belt or crash your neck into the belt. 

And we get it, sleeping through a monotonous car ride is the easiest way to make it more tolerable. But, this is by no stretch of the imagination worth the risk. Your best option is to go old school — prop a hand or pillow up against the car door or window, try your hardest to quiet your mind, and get some mediocre rest.