Is it illegal to drive in heels and flip flops?

June 20th, 2012 in Car Safety

Why it is dangerous to drive in Heels:

So it's Saturday night and you are getting ready to go clubbing. You decide that you want to drive to a friend's house for a few drinks before you go out and you are planning to leave your car over night at her house. So you are dressed in your little black dress, hair done, makeup done and your six inch heels are on, you are ready to go out dancing. But are you going to drive in your heels? If you don't drive in your heels are you going to take them off and drive bare foot?

I personally have driven in high heels and also bare foot a couple of times, but I do remember whilst I was driving on those two occasions that I felt quite unsafe and did not have as much control as I do if I am wearing flat shoes or boots. Now when I am going out, if I am wearing a pair of my favourite heels I will take them off and put on a pair of flats to drive to where I need to go.

Is it illegal? 

After I drove in heels, flip flops and bare feet I was told that it is actually illegal, I haven't done it since because I have always been worried that it is against the law. However, after doing some research it turns out that it isn't actually against the law however drivers are advised to not wear these types of shoes as it is dangerous.

Also if you did accidentally hit someone whilst driving, wearing a bad choice of footwear could contribute to your prosecution. An article was written a few years ago for the Daily Mail about women who wear heels whilst driving, apparently one women received an eight month suspension and seven-years diving ban after hitting a woman during her driving test. The judge ruled that the lady's heels had probably contributed to her losing control of her vehicle.

Survey results:

The article by the Daily Mail discussed a survey that was completed by women's car insurer "Sheila's Wheels". It found that around 11.5million female motorists, so around 80% wear inappropriate shoes whilst driving. 66% revealed that they wear heels at the wheel and 33% said they wore flip flops, whilst 18% admitted to not wearing any shoes.

The reason why heels can be dangerous is because they prevent a driver from being able to steady their heel on the car's floor. By having your heel on the car floor it makes it easy for you to move your foot from the accelerator to the brake, heels make it nearly impossible to do that. Heels can also get caught in the floor carpet or mat as you are going to brake which can distract you from driving and delay your reaction time. Flip flops are also dangerous as the pedals in your car can get caught between the sole of your foot which can give you less control of the vehicle. Flip flops also have a tendency to slip off whilst driving and slide under or in between the pedals; all these situations cause distractions and can reduce your vehicle control.

Spare pair of shoes:

It really is best to just have a spare pair of safe shoes in the car, trainers would be best or any other comfortable flat, rubber soled shoe. If you have a spare pair you can just quickly shove them on before you drive and at least it will help you to be in more control of your driving. It also means that your feet have more of a rest before a heavy night of dancing, or after a day of walking around in your favourite wedges.