Morgan Gaynor | December 25, 2020 | Car Accidents
Driving barefoot might seem unconventional, but some states are more conducive to it than others. Florida weather is hot, and activities like a day at the beach or pool might lead people to forego footwear.
Most people believe driving barefoot is illegal, but it turns out that that is somewhat of an urban legend. Driving barefoot is technically legal in all 50 states according to state statute. No law explicitly allows barefoot driving, but no law prohibits it.
In fact, no law even dictates which footwear is appropriate for driving. Even when it comes to motorcycles, no states outlaw barefoot driving, save Alabama.
Although it is technically legal, driving with bare feet or in flip flops is not recommended as it increases the risk of a car accident. Those with a penchant for driving barefoot should think twice before getting behind the wheel without proper footwear. You may not end up with a hefty fine, but driving barefoot can have more severe consequences.
Dangers of Driving Barefoot
Bare feet have less surface area than shoes, so they are more likely to slip off the pedal and cause an accident, especially a rear-end collision. Not only this but should you be in an accident, your feet will not be protected against broken glass and metal when you exit the car.
Driving with flip flops is equally dangerous in terms of causing an accident. Most of us are familiar with flip flops folding or getting caught on surfaces. The same thing can happen in a vehicle. Flip flops are likely to get caught underneath the pedals of a car. They also fall off easily, which can distract a driver’s attention from the road.
If you decide to take your shoes off while driving, make sure they do not remain near your feet. Sharp turns and bumps can jostle the shoes around and potentially wedge them under the pedals.
Never drive with socks only. Socks are even more slippery than bare feet and are likely to cause an accident.
What are the Consequences of Driving Barefoot?
While you cannot be fined solely for driving with bare feet, you can be hit with a reckless driving charge should you be in an accident. If your responding officer believes your footwear or lack thereof caused the accident, they can cite you for reckless driving.
Be sure to check your town or city’s rules on barefoot driving. While it is legal in all states, some municipalities may prohibit it.
Best Practices for Driving Footwear
Bring a change of shoes. If you plan to wear high heels or other uncomfortable shoes, consider driving in suitable shoes and then changing them when you arrive at your destination.
Do not remove or change your shoes while in motion. If your shoes feel uncomfortable or are getting in your way, pull over before changing or removing them. Do not remove shoes at a red light. Removing shoes while driving is considered distracted driving and could cause an accident or delay traffic.
Keep shoes and any other loose items away from the driver’s seat area. Loose items can prevent you from accelerating or braking when you need to.
When possible, driving with comfortable, closed shoes is always the best option. You can do otherwise, but proceed with extra caution as you may be putting yourself and others at risk.
If you were the cause of or involved in an accident related to barefoot driving, contact an experienced attorney before making any decisions. An experienced attorney can guide you through your rights and legal options.