In the hot summer months, a lot of us like to keep cool by wearing flip-flops – or, wherever possible, going barefoot. But is it OK to do this in the car? Is it illegal to drive barefoot or in flip-flops?
Let’s take a look at what UK law has to say about this issue.
Is it Illegal to Drive Barefoot?
There are no specific laws against driving barefoot in the UK. However, it is illegal to drive in a way that puts you, your passengers, or other road users in danger. It’s also illegal to do anything that might limit your control of the vehicle.
As a result, while it isn’t exactly illegal to drive barefoot, it’s something you should avoid doing at all costs. Say you’re involved in an accident when you happen to be driving barefoot. The police might decide that, had you been wearing shoes, there might not have been an accident at all.
In this case, the police might consider driving barefoot to be “driving without due consideration”, which is an offence. You could get a fixed penalty notice, at least three points on your licence, and a fine of up to £5,000.
Also, any points on your licence could affect the cost of your car insurance premium.
So while it’s not illegal to drive barefoot, it really isn’t a good idea.
When you drive barefoot, you’ll have less control over the pedals. You won’t have the same braking force that you’d have if you were wearing shoes. So if you have to brake suddenly, you might not be able to stop in time. Plus, if your feet are even slightly wet, they could easily slip from the pedals, causing you to lose control of the car.
Is it Illegal to Drive in Flip-flops?
Again, while it’s not illegal to drive in flip-flops, it’s really not a good idea to do so. Drive in flip-flops and you’ll have less braking power, which could affect your ability to make an emergency stop. Also, flip-flops are flimsy by design. They could easily slip off, or even get tangled with your pedals.
And just like with driving barefoot, if you’re involved in an accident while driving in flip-flops, it could lead to a world of trouble for you: Fines, points on your licence, and a higher insurance premium.
Don’t take the risk! If necessary, keep a pair of sensible shoes in your car during the summer months that you can just slip on when it’s time to drive.
For these same reasons, you shouldn’t drive in socks. But by the same standards, the shoes you wear to drive shouldn’t be too heavy, thick, or restrictive. While driving, it’s best to wear shoes with a sole no thicker than 10mm, with plenty of grip to stop you from slipping off the pedals.
But I Read That it is Illegal to Drive Barefoot!
Occasionally, certain driving myths circulate on social media, spreading confusion and misinformation. You might have read on social media that it’s illegal to drive barefoot, or that it’s illegal to drive in flip-flops. All we can say is: Don’t believe everything you read on social media!