We couldn’t get through a series about summer driving dos and don’ts without mention a topic that always rears its ugly head around this time of year, the question of whether you are allowed to drive in flip flops!

To answer this question clearly, let us say should you drive in flip flops? And answer, no, absolutely not, because it can be extremely dangerous, as your foot can easily slip out of the shoe. There are numerous cases of flip flops getting trapped between the pedals of vehicles, sometimes with devastatingly fatal consequences, which could so easily have been avoided by wearing appropriate footwear.

However, that said, if we ask the question, is it illegal to drive in flip flops, then the answer is mostly no.

The reason that this second question leads to an ambiguous answer is that there is no specific law which says you must not drive wearing flip flops. However, there are laws which dictate that as a driver you must always be in full control of the vehicle. If you are wearing inappropriate footwear and are involved in an incident, a collision, or are caught committing an offence, then it can be immediately deduced that you were not in full control of the vehicle, in which case your inappropriate footwear, flip flops for example, can be taken into consideration, and can therefore see you with an additional fine.

When you drive with flip flops if becomes easier to be involved in an incident. When you drive back home from the beach, for example, your flip flops are often wet and have sand on them, therefore you have a high risk of losing your flip flops while driving or when you use your car pedals. With Flip flops you cannot break or accelerate properly, ALL these factors can end in a traffic incident or infraction and in these cases, you can be fined for driving with inappropriate footwear.

Wearing appropriate footwear is a must when driving. When you think about the physical process required to make a vehicle go, turn, or stop, all the actions are performed by our hands and feet.

If we consider a driver who is barefoot, for example, there is nothing illegal about this, but controlling the clutch, and even the brakes, can require a lot of pressure, which may prove difficult if a driver is barefoot. Feet can sweat and reduce the traction and wearing of socks or stockings is not ideal either, on account of the pressure needed.

Flip flops and sandals are considered by far the most dangerous of all inappropriate footwear. Shoes which don´t fit securely may fall off when driving and can get in the way of the pedals as we have explained. Equally dangerous is how the foot can slip whilst the shoe remains in contact with the pedal, thus reducing braking time and causing a considerable risk when stopping.

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