There are plenty of things to avoid doing behind the wheel, like eating, applying makeup or texting. However, a common driving hazard that often doesn’t get discussed is the type of shoes people wear.
According to a study from the Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 16,000 vehicle crashes occur annually due to pedal errors. Those errors can often stem from people wearing inappropriate footwear.
How driving in poor footwear can lead to pedal error
When people are driving, they should wear secure and comfortable shoes. If their shoes are too loose, their feet can slide around, causing the driver to lose their grip on the pedal. This can lead to potentially dangerous driving errors, especially if they have to brake quickly. Shoes that are too tight can lead to similar problems, as they can cut off circulation to the driver’s feet, making them harder to move.
What are the worst shoes to drive in?
These shoes can put drivers, their passengers and the motorists they share the road with in danger:
- Slippers: Whether someone is driving to the grocery store or down the block, hitting the road in slippers can be risky. Most slippers are not secure around the heel or ankle, making it easy for them to slip off.
- Sandals: Like slippers, many sandals don’t have ankle or heel support. It’s also more accessible for the soles of the sandal to get stuck under the pedal while a person is driving, creating severe risks if they have to brake or accelerate.
- Brand-new shoes: Even if they’re comfortable and have solid support, driving in brand-new shoes can be dangerous. Sometimes, new shoes can have slippery soles before people break them in. This can cause people’s feet to slide off the pedals.
- Platform shoes/high heels: Large, chunky, or small, fragile shoes can be hazardous to drive in. Both can make it difficult to gauge the pedals appropriately. This can cause drivers to apply too little or too much force to the pedals, or even press them simultaneously.
- No shoes: While driving barefoot can sometimes be better option compared to other shoes, it’s still not recommended. Driving barefoot often forces people to apply more pressure on the pedals than they usually would, which can affect their brake time.
While driving in slippers, flip-flops, high-heels or barefoot is legal in South Carolina, people who choose to do this can still put responsible motorists like you in danger.
Pursuing damages against negligent drivers
If a negligent driver hits you while wearing inappropriate footwear, you can seek damages for your injuries to cover medical bills, time away from work and any other damages caused by the other party.