Many drivers choose footwear that matches what they are wearing, rather than thinking about how it may affect their driving ability. While it isn’t illegal to drive in high heels, flip flops or slippers, many don’t realize that this may be putting them at an increased risk of being involved in an accident.
Think About Shoes and Footwear Carefully
It is important for drivers to be able to firmly and evenly apply pressure to a clutch pedal or brake to use them effectively. Shoes that have flat soles will allow the weight to be distributed evenly when the foot is pressed down. However, if high heeled shoes are worn, it means that the driver is only going to be able to use the ball of their foot on the pedals. This reduced surface area puts the driver at a higher risk of missing a pedal or not being able to press it firmly enough for effectiveness. Also, the narrow heel makes it more difficult for the driver to rest their foot comfortably when pushing on the brake, which may hinder their ability to react in an emergency situation.
Some drivers try to reduce this risk by removing their heeled shoes while driving and instead, driving barefoot. However, driving barefoot is often just as dangerous. In this state, the foot is not able to effectively distribute an even amount of pressure on the pedal. To try and compensation for this, a driver may have to apply additional pressure, which may increase the chances of them developing a pain or cramp in their foot.
The Dangers of Flip Flops while Driving
Even more dangerous than driving in heels is driving in thong sandals or flip flops. In fact, statistics have shown that flip flops are responsible for almost 1.4 million near miss accidents annually and approximately a third of drivers on the road drive in these types of shoes at any given time.
The danger of flip flops lies in the potential of them becoming caught under the pedals, which will slow down the driver’s ability to move their foot to the brake. In fact, drivers wearing flip flops take twice the amount of time to move their foot from its position on the accelerator to the brake than those wearing other types of shoes. If there is the possibility of an accident, every second counts.
To try and avoid the risks associated with driving while wearing this type of footwear, it is recommended that a person takes a backup pair of shoes to keep in their vehicle. Some examples of quality driving shoes include closed toe shoes that fit securely on the foot and shoes with rubber soles. While this is a small consideration, it may help improve a person’s safety while on the road.
If you are ever involved in an accident that isn’t your fault, then it is best to contact a personal injury attorney. They can review the facts of the case to determine if you may be able to recover compensation.