Is driving bare foot or in flip-flops illegal?
Date posted: 20th April 2018
During periods of warm weather, such as we're currently enjoying, many of us head out in flip flops or even give in to the temptation to drive barefoot... and it's not a good idea.
While it may not be strictly illegal, flip flops are flimsy and bare feet lack the grip needed to operate the pedals properly and safely.
The Driving Standards Agency, says: "Suitable shoes are particularly important behind the wheel. We would not recommend driving barefoot because you don't have the same braking force with bare feet as you do with shoes on."
Moreover, driving barefoot or in flip flops can invalidate your insurance. So while it's not illegal, it's definitely discouraged.
Bearing that in mind, the RAC have produced guidelines on what footwear to drive in.
Your shoes should:
• Have a sole no thicker than 10mm
• The sole should not be too thin or soft
• Provide enough grip to stop your foot slipping off the pedals
• Not be too heavy
• Not limit ankle movement
• Be narrow enough to avoid accidentally depressing two pedals at once
An RAC spokesman added "While light, flimsy and impractical footwear can be dangerous, so can sturdy, robust shoes, such as walking or snow boots. It's important to have a good base and grip to apply pressure to the pedals, but you need a certain degree of finesse to manipulate the controls. If not, you could strike the brake and accelerator together, producing a heart-in-mouth incident."
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