Is driving with flip flops legal?
Summer is the pre-eminent season, where drivers relax, look for nearby destinations to cool off and sometimes decide to drive in flip flops or even barefoot. This is can prove to be a dangerous habit that can often get you in trouble.
To begin with, we must clarify that even the legal framework is unclear, since the regulator does not specifically prohibit someone driving with flip flops. To be precise, in article 13 it is mentioned that “the driver of each vehicle is obliged to have complete freedom of movement in order to act correctly in the necessary handling of the vehicle”. Therefore, the situation is at the discretion of the police officer handling the case. However, if the police decide to impose a fine on you, then you will have to pay 100 Euros and your driving license will be revoked for up to 30 days!
According to the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) in the United States, there are 16,000 crashes each year due to incorrect application of pressure on the car pedals, due to the fact that the driver was wearing inappropriate shoes (flip flops), or was barefoot. This makes perfect sense, since flip flops can get in the way between the accelerator and the brake pedals making the handling dangerous. Doing a more thorough research on what is valid in foreign countries, we found that driving with flip flops is not prohibited by law, but clearly not welcomed.
And what about the insurance cover?
At the insurance level now, as senior executives at a major insurance company in London have reported, if a driver had an accident and was found to be wearing flip flops or generally unsuitable driving shoes, then the insurance company could claim that the choice of shoes contributed to dangerous driving. This is something that in extreme cases, could lead to the cancellation of the car insurance coverage. A large law firm that specialises in car compensations also verified this argument.
Moreover, as extreme as it may sound, the research revealed that one in three drivers used inappropriate shoes which could potentially lead to 1.4 million accidents a year.
Drivers must take care to wear the right shoes that will allow them to drive comfortably and safely. Because holidays can mean relaxation, but this does not mean that we should endanger the safety of ourselves and other road users.