Many people have done it at one point or another: driven to work in high heels, to the beach in thong sandals, or driven without any shoes on at all. While not illegal, driving without proper footwear can be dangerous and can put you at risk of an accident.
In order to use the brake or clutch pedals effectively, a person must be able to apply adequate, firm pressure to the pedal. Shoes with regular soles allow pressure to be evenly distributed, giving the driver greater feeling and control when they need to slow the vehicle or switch gears. In footwear like high heeled shoes, the heel hinders the driver’s ability to apply even pressure and only the ball of the foot is able to make contact with the pedal. The heel also makes it awkward for the foot to rest evenly and can interfere with the driver’s reaction time if they need to stop the vehicle quickly.
Many women recognize that removing their high heeled shoe before driving solves this issue, but barefoot drivers face a similar problem. Bare feet are not as effective at applying firm, even pressure to the brake as a foot with appropriate shoes. Applying extra pressure with bare feet can also increase the driver’s risk of pain and cramping in the foot, further hindering their ability to drive safely. Additionally, if the driver is wearing stockings, feet could easily slip on the pedals.
Thong sandals (flip flops) are an even more dangerous option than high heels. Roughly one-third of motorists wear flip flops behind the wheel at any given time, and may be responsible for up to 1.4 million near miss accidents every year. Flip flops are a dangerous footwear option for driving because they can easily get stuck under the pedals, slowing the driver’s reaction time in the event a quick brake becomes necessary. Moving the brake between the accelerator and brake pedals takes more than twice as long as other kinds of shoes. In the event of an imminent collision, every second counts.
A study of 1,055 women reveals that 27 percent have admitted that mishaps with their footwear has nearly caused an accident, and 20 percent continue to wear shoes that they have had a near miss accident in. Additionally, 10 percent of women have even admitted to driving in shoes that they struggled to walk in.
While no one begrudges anyone a shoe that compliments their outfit, it is a good idea to travel with a backup pair of closed-toe, closed-heel, rubber-soled driving shoes in your vehicle. By taking this small yet important step, you can decrease your chances of getting into an accident.
Skilled Car Accident Attorneys in Houston, TX
Have you been injured in a car accident involving a driver wearing dangerous footwear? The car accident attorneys at The Daspit Law Firm are prepared to offer you a free case evaluation to determine if you have a case for compensation. We are available 24/7 to take your call, including nights and weekends, and even offer home and hospital visits for your convenience. You can trust in our decades of experience to handle your personal injury claim with the diligence it deserves. Call today: (713) 364-0915.