It is not uncommon to notice drivers driving with flip flops. Probably you have also engaged in driving with flip flips especially in warm days or when coming out of the beach during summer. But, is it illegal to drive with flip flops?
No. None of the State laws has prohibited driving with flip flops. However, flip flops are not suitable footwear for driving since driving in flip flops can result in negligence and reckless driving.
In case your poor choice of footwear result in damage, you will definitely get charged or even jailed depending on the damaged caused from the resultant reckless driving with flip flops.
Despite it not being illegal to drive with flip flops, it is a bad idea to wear them as a driver since you not only put your life at risk but also other people’s lives.
One of the main causes of accidents reported is erroneously stepping on a wrong pedal such as stepping on an accelerator pedal instead of a brake pedal, or stepping on both the brake and the accelerator pedal simultaneously. Driving in flip flops increases the risk of making this deadly error when driving.
6 Reasons Not To Drive With Flip Flops
Here are some of the ways wearing driving with flip flops can land you in a big problem.
1.Driving In Flip Flops Increase Time of Decelerating
It has been found that flip flops significantly reduces the time needed to engage in fast breaking by 0.13 seconds. In the instance of an emergency, 0.13 seconds too much delay to cause damage and even death
2. Driving In Flip Flops Reduce Your Response
Since flip flops easily slips off your feet, they can be a distractor to you as the driver. You end up concentration on wearing them, or fixing them to position before making the correct move. In instance of emergency, the delays can be dangerous.
3. Flip Flop Getting In Between The Pedals
Slipping of the flip flop can easily come in between the brake pedal and the accelerator pedal. The aftermath cannot be good since applying pressure on one pedal can end up applying pressure on the other pedal
4. Flip Flop Stuck Under A Pedal
Since flip flops are loose footwear, they can easily slide off your feet and get stuck underneath either brake pedal or accelerator pedal. In such as case, the stuck flip flop becomes a distractor to you as the driver trying to remove the flip flop from the pedal.
Also, driving with flip flops affects the efficiency in which you can operate a pedal increasing the risk of you getting in an accident.
5. Driving In Flip Flops Affects Application Of Pressure On The Pedals
Since the soles of flip flops are often flexible and not rigid enough, when applying pressure on a pedal your feet may start aching especially when driving over a long distance. Foot spasms and foot cramps can make driving uncomfortable hindering you from applying the needed pressure on a pedal.
6. Flip Flop Strap Locked In Another Pedal
Most flip flops straps are very flexible and they are capable of stretching since they are highly elastic. Imagine a scenario in which your foot is on the brake pedal but one strap get locked up in the accelerator pedal.
So when pressing down the brake pedal the accelerator pedal will follow suit and immediate breaking won’t occur since the braking action was counteracted with the accelerator pedal action. The aftermath can be bad.
Injuries Due To Driving With Flip Flops
Statistically, flip flops have been found to contribute to about 1.4 million accidents annually. CDC study found out that at least 1000 people on a daily basis get injured from distracted driving.
Flip flops are often loose on the feet and can become a main distractor that can lead to a driver making a fatal erroneous mistake. Accidents that caused by drivers driving with flip flops result in a wide range of injuries including both severe and minor injuries.
Wearing appropriate footwear while driving is essential. In fact, accidents caused by drivers wearing flip flops have resulted in a wide range of injuries including but not limited to:
- Severe spinal cord injury
- Severe brain injury
- Sever knee injury
- Minor injuries among others
Penalty Fee and Jail Term For Accidents Caused By Flip Flops
Accidents caused by wearing inappropriate footwear such as flip flops are often categorized as negligence and reckless driving. State penalties vary. In addition, you are also expected to cater for the damages you have caused and do compensation if need be.
For instance, in New York penalty for a first timer causing a minor accident can be $300. California, reckless driving can cost you at least $1,000 and a jail term of about 90 days. In Virginia you can be penalized about $2,500 penalty fee and an additional jail term of one year.
Note that severity of the damaged caused will affect the amount of penalty to be paid and how long to serve in jail. So, despite it not being illegal to drive with flip flops the resultant actions out of wearing flip flops can make you be on the wrong side of the law.
Alternative Footwear To Driving With Flip Flops
In the instance you have to wear open shoes when driving, wearing flip flops is a bad idea. Instead, get a well-fitting flats. The flat shoes should be well fitting to your feet. Also, you can consider wearing fitting sneakers. The sneakers can be laced or not laced.
Besides, many flat official shoes are good for driving. For women, avoid driving in heels or high wedges as the affect the distribution of pressure to the pedals. Generally, there is no specific shoes that is legal to use when driving.
Choosing Correct Driving Footwear
- Avoid flip flops as your flat shoes for driving
- Avoid slick sole shoes since they easily slip off the pedals increasing the risk of you missing or stepping on the wrong pedal
- Avoid heels or any high heeled or thick sole shoes since they restrict free movement of your feet
- Wear only fitting and comfortable shoes
- Avoid oversize or undersized shoes since you can easily get distracted as a driver
- Avoid shoes with slippery and gripless shoes
- Avoid ultra-thin or ultra-thick sole shoes
- Avoid shoes with very small surface area of the sole that can prevent you from adequately stepping on a pedal and make the correct move.
- Is it illegal to drive with both feet?
- Is it illegal to drive without shoes?
- Is it illegal to drive without a shirt?
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you drive in flip flops in USA? Yes. However, flip flops are not recommended for driving.
Is it illegal to drive with flip-flops in Florida? No. However, flip flops are not recommended for driving.
Is it illegal to drive with flip-flops in Georgia? No. However, flip flops are not recommended for driving.
Is it illegal to drive with flip-flops in Illinois? No. However, flip flops are not recommended for driving.
Is it illegal to drive with flip-flops in Massachusetts? No. However, flip flops are not recommended for driving.
Is it illegal to drive with flip-flops in pa? No. However, flip flops are not recommended for driving.
Is it illegal to drive with flip-flops in Texas? No. However, flip flops are not recommended for driving.
Is it illegal to drive with flip flops? No. It is not illegal to drive with flip flops but in the instance your choice of footwear leads in reckless driving then you can be penalized, jailed, and also pay for the damages you have caused. Drive safely by wearing the correct footwear when driving.