With a change of the season comes a change to our wardrobes. Gone are the cosy knits, scarves, and wellies (unless you’re a festival-goer) of winter and out come the t-shirts, shorts, and flip-flops. Well, if the British weather behaves itself!
But what has this got to do with driving? Well, one question that we hear a lot at this time of year is – “is it illegal to drive in flip-flops?”.
The short answer is, no, it’s not against the law to drive in flip-flops. In this article, however, we explain why it’s important to consider your driving footwear carefully, so as not to put yourself or other road users at risk.
When you get behind the wheel of a car, you do your safety checks before setting off including checking your mirrors and putting on your seatbelt. But do you ever think about the safety of your footwear?
The Highway Code states that before setting off on a car journey you should make sure that – “footwear and clothing do not prevent you using the controls in the correct manner.”
In the summer months, it’s easy to just jump in the car wearing your flip-flops or summer sandals, especially after a day at the beach. Although it’s not illegal to wear these types of shoes while driving, they’re unlikely to have a good base and grip to apply enough pressure to the pedals.It’s also very easy for your foot to slip off the pedals in these types of shoes.
Why not keep a pair of trainers or similar shoes with a good grip in the car? That way you can feel at ease that you have sensible driving shoes to hand to stay safe on the road.
We’re not quite sure why you would choose to wear your slippers to drive in. It’s definitely not advisable!
If you are caught by the police wearing inappropriate footwear while driving this could result in a fine, penalty points, and potentially even a driving ban. Not only that, you would be putting passengers and other road users at risk, as there is a danger that your foot could slip out of the slippers or that they could become stuck under the pedals.
This sounds painful! Driving barefoot is again, not advisable to do. It’s unlikely that you would be able to apply enough pressure on the brake in bare feet, which is of course, not safe.
Suitable driving shoes, such as trainers, boots, or ones with soles no thicker than 10mm (as advised by the RAC) and with a good grip are best to safely control your car. If your shoes have thin or soft soles, they are unlikely to be suitable for driving in.
We hope that this article has given you some clarity on the most appropriate footwear for driving in. Before you get behind the wheel of your car, remember to double-check your footwear is comfortable and sensible to allow you to manipulate the controls with ease.
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