There are plenty of things to consider when you get behind the wheel, and the shoes you choose can be one of them. Driving in flip flops might be the easiest choice when you’re dashing out the house in a rush, but could it put you in trouble with the law?
Well, the simple answer is no, driving in flip flops is not against the law, but there is a Highway Code that addresses the matter.
Rule 97 of the Highway Code states that the footwear and clothing that you choose to wear whilst driving must not prevent you from using the controls in the correct manner.
What this means is that you can get in trouble from the law if you’re in an accident and the police see that you’re wearing flip flops to drive. You are liable for a charge cited as ‘driving without due care and attention’. This charge can result in a £100 on-the-spot fine, as well as three penalty points on your licence.
If this charge were taken to court, you could face a maximum fine of £5,000, nine penalty points on your licence, as well as a potential driving ban.
Is it illegal to drive in slippers?
Similarly to wearing flip flops, it isn’t illegal to drive in slippers, but it could result in a criminal charge if you’re in an accident and the police see that you’re not wearing suitable footwear for driving.
You want to ensure that you have complete control over the pedals whilst driving, and if there is potential for your foot to slip out of the slippers then you could lose control over the vehicle.
Is it legal to drive in bare feet?
Driving barefoot is not illegal, but again it’s not something that is advised.
The Driving Standards Agency state that suitable shoes are of vital importance whilst you’re behind the wheel. They don’t advise that anyone drives barefoot because you will not have the same braking force that you do whilst you’re wearing shoes. If you don’t have enough braking force this could result in a crash which could not only harm you but other drivers on the road.
When it comes to wearing the correct shoes for driving the RAC have suggested that you don’t wear shoes that have soles that are more than 10mm in thickness, you don’t want a sole that’s too soft or thin, shoes that are too heavy should be avoided, as well as those that limit ankle movement. They also recommended that they have enough grip to ensure your feet don’t slip off the pedals, and they’re narrow enough not to accidentally press two pedals at once.