You have probably heard from others that it is against the law to drive barefoot. But is driving barefoot really illegal? Or does it pose any safety concerns for those who are driving? Does your state impose any restrictions on this behavior? We have the answers!
Believe it or not, a lot of people prefer driving barefoot than with shoes!
Some people feel comfortable driving barefoot than wearing shoes since being uncomfortable leads to distraction and slower reaction times. They also feel like they are able to better feel/control the acceleration and braking with their bare feet. While driving barefoot in the United States is perfectly legal, in many states, however, it is preferable to avoid driving barefoot due to safety concerns.
Why do people think it’s illegal?
While it’s not known how this came to be a misconception, driving barefoot is not illegal at all. And we can thank Jason Heimbaugh for this knowledge. In 1994, he wrote letters to the DMV in every state asking if it was illegal to drive barefoot. Through the course of the next few months, he heard back from each one, and they all agreed—it’s legal to drive without shoes.
Despite the fact that barefoot driving is technically legal in every state, different states and police departments have different ways of handling it. This could be another contributing factor to the widespread belief that it is illegal to drive barefoot. In some states, police can deem it as unsafe driving and even issue a ticket. The states of Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, Ohio, and Wyoming made it clear that, despite the fact that barefoot driving is legal, they believe it to be dangerous. At the same time, the Harrisonville police, permit and encourage barefoot driving saying it is safer than driving in flip-flops or high heels.
Another shoe type that can be more dangerous than no shoes at all is the high heels or flip flops, according to the Missouri Highway Patrol.
Driving while wearing high heels or flip flops can put you at even a greater risk since it increases the chances of tripping over the pedals. Wearing shoes while driving is strongly encouraged, and if you are ever driving barefoot through Ohio, and an officer believes that your lack of shoes contributed to an accident, they can cite you for “failure to exercise due care”. The same goes in Nevada where an officer can still ticket you for not wearing shoes in the event of an accident.
Why you should not drive barefoot!
While some believe that driving barefoot is comfortable and safe, it’s not universally agreed upon by the general public for a few reasons.
- Bare feet are more susceptible to slipping off the pedals, especially if they’re wet.
- Without shoes, you ability to apply the brakes as hard maybe limited.
- While driving barefoot, if you cause an accident, you could get a ticket or even be charged with careless or distracted driving.
- If you get into an accident, your insurance company may deny your claim if they learn that you were driving barefoot.
Despite this, we believe that you must wear closed-toed shoes while you’re driving for your safety as well as others. Also be sure to check your local laws if you are someone who enjoys driving without shoes since a city mandate might be different from a state policy.