Is It Illegal to Drive Barefoot in California?

Sep 21, 18 by Jorian Goes

Is It Illegal to Drive Barefoot in California?

Barefoot Driving in California

It is legal for you to drive barefoot in the state of California? Even if you are driving a motorcycle.

Currently, there are no state or federal laws which state you cannot drive a car without shoes on.

Other vehicles such as motorcycles vary from one state to another. Moreover, in some of the states, there might be ordinances that govern driving cars barefoot. In other states, they have laws that prohibit one from driving a motorcycle while barefoot. However, it is not illegal in any state to drive a car without shoes on.

Taking Off Your Shoes While Driving

Some individuals will take off their shoes when they are in traffic. Although this is not illegal, it is not recommended. There are cases where drivers are caught under the brake pedal as they try to take off their shoes which result in accidents, as the vehicles fail to stop, and plunge right into the vehicles in front of them. Additionally, this can be seen as a form of distracted driving. Therefore, though the practice itself might not be illegal, it can lead to accidents, and you will be responsible for any damages.

Is It Dangerous to Drive Barefoot?

There is no law which prohibits you from driving barefoot. Just because, you are allowed to drive barefoot does not automatically mean that you should do it. So, is it safe for you to drive barefoot? There are a few risks that are involved with driving barefoot, and there are a few small advantages.

While you may like the idea of investing in purchasing driving shoes, it is not exactly difficult to keep a pair of shoes in your vehicle as you take a walk across the beach. It just takes 2 to 3 minutes for you to put on your shoes. Surely, this is adequate time for you to spare to avoid any unnecessary risks!

Some of the risks that are involved with driving barefoot include the following:

  • The soles of your shoes offer balanced pressure; however, your foot does not evenly distribute the pressure. Not having shoes on could mean that after a period of time, your feet will get sore due to the less balanced pressure exerted on them.
  • The clutch needs heavy pressure to be applied, and without shoes on, this might be very difficult. A majority of people are used to wearing shoes, and they feel that it gives them more stability.
  • Probably, the most notable risk is that your foot may potentially slip off the pedal, and its effects will be devastating.

However, there are also a few benefits of driving without shoes. Parents may instruct their kids that it is dangerous to drive barefoot. However, there is no real evidence to show that this is true. With the latest fad for minimalistic shoes today, research shows that running without shoes can be healthier and better for the foot. It also shows that using the foot in its natural form without any stationary resistance can strengthen your foot. We do not recommend driving for the first time barefoot in traffic with other vehicles around. However, we also do not think that it is more dangerous than driving with your shoes on.

Is It Dangerous to Drive in My flip-flops?

There is no sufficient statistics or data about barefoot driving. However, surveys about footwear have indicated that wearing the wrong type of shoe can be very dangerous than no shoe at all. An insurance firm in Australia surveyed 1,000 drivers, and they found out that a monstrous 60 percent were cruising in stiletto heels or flip-flops, and 38 percent said they have had a shoe come off before an accident.

A British insurer found that 80% of female drivers were wearing “inappropriate” shoes while driving- high heels and flip-flops. One in 10 of the respondents in the study reported a near miss or a car crash due to their footwear. Women are not the only ones who have been hitting the road with dangerous footwear. The shoes that you drive in can significantly affect your control over the vehicle.

  • Wedges and other extra wide shoes make it hard for you to gauge pedal pressure, and it can become wedged behind the gas or brake pedal.
  • High heels raise the heel of the foot, and this will distort your ability to gauge the pressure that you are putting it on the pedals.
  • Flip-flops provide zero heel support, tends to slip off and it can easily become wedged under a pedal. This can be a big distraction as the driver attempts to slip the shoes back on.

Clearly, barefoot driving is less dangerous as compared with other things that drivers usually do behind the wheel. Driving barefoot gives the driver more aware of the vehicle in general, and pedals in particular. There is less chance of you hitting the wrong pedal, and you will have more control of the brake and the accelerator. Additionally, barefooting is very comfortable.

If you decide to drive barefoot:

  • Do not drive with wet feet since they are more likely to slip off the pedals.
  • Keep your shoes on the passenger side to prevent them from rolling underneath the pedals.
  • Keep a pair of sneakers in the vehicle for driving.

Is It Bad to Crash Barefoot While Driving?

There is nothing in the law which states that in case you are involved in an accident while driving barefoot, you will be responsible more than someone else who had their shoes on. Nonetheless, you need to know that in case you are involved in an accident, the other side will always be looking for ways to try and point fingers at you with regards to liability.