One of the joys of summer is pulling off those heavy winter shoes and slipping into something more comfortable. With no need for protection from the snow or cold, the hotter weather is a call to paint those toenails and let your feet breathe.
When running around the house barefoot, it is natural to jump into the car and drive without shoes. Yet, what you wear on your feet could affect your safety. In 2015, the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration (NHTSA) found that 16,000 crashes resulted from the driver hitting the accelerator pedal instead of the brake.
Different footwear affects your ability to feel the pedals and use them effectively:
- Steel-capped work boots: These are essential safety equipment if you drive commercial vehicles. They protect your foot if something is dropped or chemicals are spilled. However, they do not give sensitivity when driving.
- High heels: Heels can change the angle between your foot and the pedal, tire your foot and leg when driving or cause cramping.
- Sandals: Designed to be slipped on and off easily, they can get caught under the pedal if you are not careful.
- Barefoot: You do not have the force of a solid sole to press the pedals with, but you can certainly feel them. In hot weather, your feet may sweat, reducing grip on the pedal.
- Driving shoes: They have a low flat sole to reduce the chance of snagging, rubber on the heels to stop wear and are light to provide comfort. They are great until you step out into a puddle. Best worn by 1950’s movies stars in open top cars with a head-scarved women in the passenger seat.
If you are injured in a car crash caused by another driver, it is relatively unlikely that their choice of footwear was the reason they drove into you. More likely, they were not paying attention or were going too fast. Seek legal help to understand your compensation options. While there is no law governing what shoes you wear behind the wheel, drivers have a responsibility to be in full control of their vehicles.