As a responsible driver, you should avoid traffic violations while on the road. In addition to the fact that it’s illegal and you can face consequences for flaunting the law, committing a violation increases your car insurance rates. The more prone you are to breaking the rules of the road, the more likely you are to cause a vehicular accident, which means the insurance company has to cover your expenses more often.
But there’s one driving habit that some of us might be confused about when it comes to the law: Is driving without shoes illegal or not? Let’s go over the different concerns regarding barefoot driving.
Is Driving Without Shoes Illegal?
Nope—there currently aren’t any US states that completely forbid you from driving without footwear. Nor are there any rules on what type of shoes drivers should wear on the road. As long as you’ve driven as responsibly as you can, you won’t have to worry as much about getting a ticket if a police officer pulls you over and sees you without shoes.
But some areas may have exceptions for certain motorists. For instance, motorcycle drivers in Alabama are required by state law to wear shoes. A city or a county may also have local ordinances regarding barefoot driving, which you’ll have to check first before you decide to do it.
While perfectly legal at the state and federal levels, driving without shoes is generally discouraged. There’s always the chance that it can lead to an accident, such as your foot slipping off a pedal.
Other affected parties in the accident could potentially make an issue out of this and argue it contributed to the collision. If the court agrees, it’s even possible that you could end up facing charges for reckless or negligent driving, which can be punishable with jail time or a hefty fine. You might also have to pay damages in a civil lawsuit.
Why Is Driving Without Shoes Legal?
Driving without footwear isn’t illegal because, despite the potential dangers involved, it’s not seen as a major contributing factor to most accidents. A motorist can still drive safely while barefoot as long as they’re careful, while another driver can be reckless even with shoes on.
What Are the Dangers of Driving Without Shoes?
Driving barefoot or with only socks on does have its risks. For example, your feet typically won’t provide you with as much grip on the pedals compared to wearing shoes. This makes them more likely to slip off the pedal, especially if they’re prone to sweating.
Shoes also serve as extra protection in case a crash happens. Without shoes, your feet are at more risk of getting injured by debris such as glass shards and metal parts.
When Is It Better to Drive Barefoot?
Driving without shoes still does have some advantages over certain types of footwear. For instance, flip-flops are considered more unsafe than your bare feet as they can get caught on the pedal. Meanwhile, wearing thick work boots can make it difficult for you to gauge the right amount of force to apply on the pedal. High heels can get stuck on the floor mat.
By driving barefoot, you’ll get a better feel for the pedal and any changes in how the car moves.
What Are the Best Types of Shoes for Driving?
When picking a shoe to wear for driving, you’ll want to make sure that it’s comfortable and fits snugly. This helps keep your feet from getting strained and prevents the shoe from falling off or getting stuck on the pedal. As such, running shoes and other kinds of sneakers are generally acceptable for driving.
You’ll also have to consider the sole’s thickness. The thicker or heavier the sole, the harder it is to press on the pedals with the exact pressure you want. Whenever possible, the sole shouldn’t be over an inch thick so that it can still be flexible while supporting your feet.
You can also opt for driving shoes, which are designed to have thin soles, a good grip, and to be comfortable for long rides.
Protect Yourself With Cheap Auto Insurance
Regardless of whether you prefer driving without shoes, it’s always important to make sure that your car insurance doesn’t lapse. Accidents can happen anytime, and having an insurer helps ensure that your expenses can get paid.
If you’re looking for affordable car insurance rates, contact the experts at CheapInsurance.com. Our team will help you get the exact coverage you need at a great price.