Don't Be a Flop, Be a Goody Two-Shoes!
“Never underestimate the power of a shoe” - Giuseppe Zanotti
It’s time to take the Italian fashion designer’s advice.
Summer’s here (who knows for how long?) and we’re getting the tootsies out!
Wearing inappropriate shoes can have a huge impact on your driving and those who do wear silly shoesies could be responsible for a road traffic accident, personal injuries or worse.
While one of your philosophies in life may be similar to that of Victoria Beckham’s - “I can’t concentrate in flats” - when it comes to driving, it’s time to take your shoes seriously and get used to concentrating in ones you may or may not be seen dead in.
Cinderella was right - one shoe can really change your life.
Is Driving in Inappropriate Footwear Illegal?
Not as such.
There are no definitive laws stating that you cannot drive in flip-flops, chunky working boots, stilettos, glamorous crocs or just freestyle in plain old bare feet.
However, Rule 97 of the Highway Code states:
“You must ensure clothing and footwear do not prevent you using the controls in the correct manner.”
So if the police suspect you’re driving dangerously and they catch you wearing hazardous clodhoppers as a potential cause, you can still be fined – or worse, depending on the circumstances.
In a survey conducted by the AA:
- 27% of drivers said their shoes caused them difficulty when driving.
- 5% admitted to the fact that their choice of footwear led them to drive dangerously, lose control or have an accident.
If you were involved in a road traffic accident that wasn’t your fault at the time of claiming for compensation, your inappropriate footwear could be seen as grounds for contributory negligence. In this case, your total compensation amount would be lower.
Flip-flops, high heels, slippery or other inappropriate footwear can, and have, caused accidents.
One man, Joseph O’Connor, wore flip flops that caused his foot to slip on the break, sending his car colliding into a minibus full of people. He was banned for 14 months.
Another man cut up his girlfriend’s high heels after she crashed his car while wearing them. Revenge.
In both of these cases, nobody was seriously hurt – but the outcome could have been much worse!
What Shoes Are Best For Driving?
Really, it’s just a matter of common sense. Always carry a pair of flat shoes or trainers in the car with you for the times that your footwear isn’t driver-friendly.
They should have grip on the bottom and be comfortable so that they don’t restrict your driving in any way. Avoid wearing heavy, chunky shoes too – you don’t want to be pressing all the pedals down at once! Wearing clown shoes in your free time is totally your choice. Just not when driving.
Here are the RAC’s guidelines for appropriate footwear:
- The sole should be no thicker than 10mm – but shouldn’t be too thin or too soft.
- There should be plenty of grip to stop your feet from slipping off the pedals.
- Shoes shouldn’t be too heavy.
- They shouldn’t limit your ankle movement.
- They should be narrow enough so that you don’t accidentally press down on two pedals at the same time.
If you were to be involved in an accident, then your insurance might refuse to pay out if you were wearing shoes that don’t match these rules.
It would be better to seek advice and help from a solicitor - not about buying shoes, but regarding making a compensation claim. Here at Non Fault Claims, we can help you with this!
Got some steel-capped boots you like clunking around in? Some studded wellies for that statement look? A pair of high and shiny Louboutins you carry out your everyday activities in?
Wear whatever you please – it’s no skin off our nose - but don’t wear them in the car or you might end up with a skinless one yourself.
If you do end up needing our help or would just like more information about non fault road traffic accidents, call us today for free and at no obligation!