It’s that time of year again when we say goodbye to our winter coats and start digging out our summer wardrobe –many of us might start wearing our comfy flip flops once again.
While they’re a summer staple they simply don’t belong on your feet when you are driving. We strongly encourage people to reconsider wearing flip flops whilst driving. Rebecca Ashton, Head of Policy and Research at IAM RoadSmart, is giving her expert advice on why it’s best to leave the flip flops for the beach and choose something more suitable for driving.
While it’s not illegal to wear flip flops whilst you drive, The Highway Code states that you must have footwear and clothing which ‘does not prevent you using the controls in the correct manner’. Since flip flops can easily slip off and get lodged under the car’s pedals, they have the potential to cause a serious incident.
What should I wear on my feet?
It’s important to have maximum control while driving, soft shoes with a thin sole which can offer a little grip are best. These will allow your ankle to remain flexible and keep your sole sensitive to how much pressure you’re putting on the pedals. Driving in heavy or chunky shoes can put you in danger of pressing two pedals down at once, so the best sort of driving footwear is your basic flat shoe or trainer.
It’s not uncommon to find yourself getting in the car wearing sandals during the summer, or heavy winter boots in the colder months. So, it’s a good idea to keep a pair of shoes specifically for driving in the boot of your car.
Rebecca explained: “Flip flops can easily slip off and get caught under the pedals, and if they’re wet, your foot might slip affecting your ability to brake. Driving in flip flops has the potential to create a dangerous driving environment and put you and other road users at risk.
“Some drivers might not be aware that if you’re involved in a crash and the police see that you have flip flops on, and they believe these could have been a contributory factor in the incident, you may be prosecuted for ‘driving without due care and attention’ The fixed penalty for careless driving is £100 with 3 points on the driver’s licence. The most serious cases can go through the courts, where higher penalties might be deemed appropriate – a fine as high as £5,000, nine penalty points and potentially a driving ban.”