Barefoot driving : Is it illegal?

Introduction :

Barefoot driving is many times a very comfortable practice which many people enjoy after long hours of driving with shoes however, barefoot driving is also dangerous many times. During barefoot driving foot can easily slide off from pedals which can result in unchecked vehicle and will ultimately result in a tough situation. Slippery feet is one of the illustration which can create a disadvantageous situation for you. As barefoot driving is good sometimes however for better traction efficiency you have to switch to driving with shoes.

Barefoot driving :

Barefoot driving have many merits and demerits and here in this article you are going to learn about all the merits and demerits of driving without shoes but before that one thing which is asked many times, if barefoot driving is dangerous? and answer to question is finely described below so do read it.

Is Barefoot driving dangerous?

Barefoot driving ain’t illegal at many places but still considered a potential reason whenever a person is unable to control his/her vehicle on road and many times this all is rendered to the slippery feet which can cause a troublesome situation to the driver as well to the other users on the road.

Many problems can happen because of the barefoot driving and these tough situations are caused by situations like :

  • In winter it becomes difficult to drive barefoot.
  • Shoes if untangled at the same place where the pedals are then they can interfere with the working of the pedals.
  • Feet can easily get dirty because of the mat and there will be a continuous struggle for putting on shoes and untangling them.
  • When feet will be wet (sweaty or wet because of some reason) they can slip off from the pedals and this can turn out to be a troublesome situation. As driving without shoes many times considered an unsafe practice and many times it is observed that though it being not illegal in many states still it becomes a potential reason for getting a ticket because many believe and have seen evidences that indicates that it is a bad practice.
  • Many times it is observed that traction efficiency when barefoot is less as compared to the traction efficiency which is more when compared with shoes.
  • You can forget your shoes either at home or even sometimes at different places and it will turn out to be a commotion for you, trust me.

It’s not that there are only disadvantageous situations with barefoot driving there are many people who love barefoot driving and appreciate and declare that there are many benefits of driving barefoot as well and the benefits are :

  • Without shoes the most amazing thing one can feel is liberated feet and liberated movement of feet. After long hours of driving with shoes on one can easily understand what it feel like to untangle your feet.
  • Pedals can be easily felt and controlled smoothly when one is driving without shoes.
  • Easy Blood flow is hampered when one is wearing uncomfortable shoes which makes feet numb many times. This happens majorly with uncomfortable shoes and also during the long trips when one have to wear shoes for long time. With barefoot driving there is fine flow of blood in your feet.

Driving with different footwears :

Driving with flip flops :

Many people love wearing flip flops because they are comfortable however they must not be used by drivers while driving. As these footwears though comfortable but can easily entangle with the pedals of a car and can easily slide off from foot and can restrict the proper functioning of the pedals by interfering in the working of the pedals.

Is it illegal to drive in flip flops?

No, they are not illegal like barefoot driving however it is advised many times by the experts that one must not wear flip flops while driving rather one must go with good pair of shoes which will work well with the handling of pedals. Flip flops may be comfortable but they can easily interfere with the functioning of the pedals. So, for safe driving comfortable shoes are recommended which will allow proper and smooth handling of pedals and won’t entangle with the working of pedals.

Driving with high heels :

When one is driving with high heels then the control of the driver over their vehicle is very less as the point of contact heels with the pedals is less when it comes to high heels. They have low traction force so, whenever the situation demands for a heavy breaks then immediate and heavy breaks cannot easily applied.

Also read : Barefoot driving, driving without shoes and safe driving

Driving with wedges :

Whenever a person drive with wedges then the point of contact may be more when compared to high heels or heels however the traction force is still very less and because of this brakes cannot be easily applied while wearing them. When it comes to wedges then feet and pedals have a good distance difference as wedge of the footwear creates a separate platform for foot and because of this the impact of traction of foot is less resulting in weak pressing of pedals and ultimately it gets hard to the handle a vehicle.

What kind of footwear is right for wearing for driving ?

There are many footwears which are preferred for driving. These shoes have thin sole and with these kind of shoes ankle moment is also not restricted and they do not tend to slip off from the pedals such kind of features the shoes must have and are right for wearing for driving. There are many brands which makes comfortable shoes which are required by drivers of the F1 cars however for normal people the shoes with thin sole and comfortable fit can do well. One need to have proper control over their vehicle otherwise it can turn out to be a very hard situation and there is no shortage of evidences on how important it is to care about these small things which can easily ruin the life of a person.

Is barefoot driving illegal in your State/Country ?

In many places ( States/Countries) it is nowhere clearly stated that barefoot driving is illegal however if you are found to be involved in some kind of accident then for sure your barefoot driving will be at fault many times according to experts. And there are different sections which though not directly but in some way or other tell us to be aware of the fact that you can easily get a ticket because of the negligence of the driving laws and it will be considered as an irresponsible behavior.

In different countries like USA , Canada, India and Australia etc. there are no stringent laws agaist barefoot driving however on the same time it is not suggested to drive barefooted ( Traction force is less thus, braking force is also less).

Can we drive barefoot ?

Barefoot Driving in India :

However in India barefoot driving may be a call for a challan even if it is not illegal in India. Barefoot driving is not an illegal practice but it will attract a challan under the section 177, 177 A, section 184 and section 239 which states that a challan is attracted for general rule breaking in India. As it is nowhere properly described in the fine list of different states including Mumbai, Chandigarh etc. So, you can say that it is not an illegal practice in India to drive barefoot but now many question arises with it like if it is safe to drive barefoot ? Can you wear any other footwear other than shoes to drive? Is wearing chappals and sandals is a call for a challan? And answers to all these questions are already given.

According to motor vehicle act 1988 barefoot driving can attract a challan under these offences :

Also read : List of fines in Chandigarh

Also read : List of fines in Delhi

Section 177500*General
Section 177A (New addition )500*Violation of rules of road regulation
Section 1792000*Not obeying orders by authorities
Section 177 ( offence related to driving )1000*Rough/Reckless/Negligent driving
Section 1845000*Dangerous driving
Table showing varied violations

Barefoot Driving in USA :

There are 50 states in USA and out of 50 states every state have their own law but wholly it is not prohibited to drive barefoot except for few places like Alabama, in Alabama under the operation of motor vehicle by driver with barefoot is permitted but not for motorcycle and ride and also in Ohio, barefoot driving is legal there but not recommended.

In USA there was a even a strong evident that happened way back in 1994 in which Jason R. Heinsbaugh from university of Illinos enquired personally from all 50 states in USA regarding the legality of driving barefoot. He got confirmation from every state that it is a legal practice though this all process took long time however every state responded Jason R. Heinsbaugh in a positive way.

Barefoot Driving in UK :

There is no availability of any law in UK which states that barefoot driving is illegal in UK. However according to 97 code for highway which states that in UK, drivers must wear footwear or clothes which do not hamper your control on your vehicle. For footwears RAC have provided with some guidelines :

  • Shoes should provide enough grip while handling while handling pedals.
  • Shoes must not be heavy.
  • Ankle movement should be easy inside shoes.
  • Shoes have to be narrow enough to handle pedals in such a way that they won’t accidently press both the pedals in one go.

Driving barefoot in Australia :

It’s not illegal in Australia but one needs to be cautious while driving barefoot and according to NSW road rule 2008, in the NSW road rule 297(1) tells that you must have your vehicle under control, it doesn’t matter if you are driving with shoes on or without shoes however, if you undergo some accident then you will be held responsible and your barefoot driving will be at fault.

Barefoot Driving in different places :

Barefoot driving is many places is permitted but many times it will become a reason for your ticket or challan if you somehow gets in some road accident because then root cause will be your irresponsibility or your negligence. And it is allowed to drive barefoot in Italy since 1993 and in Canada it is not illegal and when it comes Texas it is also not illegal to drive without shoes.

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